The news of Irrfan’s sudden demise (and today Rishi Kapoor’s), has left us all reeling. An actor extraordinaire is gone to soon. But they say the best to celebrate someone’s life is to relive their golden memories. In consonance with that, we bring to you a few of the top Irrfan Khan movies to binge watch this quarantine.
He wasn’t someone who told extravagant, out of the world stories. Irrfan played roles that you saw almost every day around you. In a man who eats his lunch alone to a man who struggles with the high-standard city life, to a man who works relentlessly to make his daughter’s dreams come true. His art is beyond words, and his stories beyond brilliance.
Why does the death of Irrfan Khan feel so personal? Everyone everywhere is gutted. His stories took their own time to settle in one’s heart. Certainly, his loss would too. But in the meanwhile, enjoy these Irrfan Khan movies to celebrate his existence.
1. THE NAMESAKE
DIRECTOR: Mira Nair
DURATION: 2 hrs 2 mins
GENRE: Domestic fiction
In this beautiful adaptation of the famous novel ‘The Namesake’ by Jhumpa Lahiri, Mira Nair has brought up the fascinations and rituals of a daily life. Featuring two polite newly-weds, making close ties with other Indian immigrants, sprinkling curry powder on the Rice Krispies, moving to a split-level suburban house, sending the children to college. Subsequently, it captures the journey of two generations, of old cultures merging with the new. In addition to going through their regular round of Americanism, they find out that there’s a long journey of self-discovery still beckoning them, and somewhere connecting them to their roots.
2. THE LUNCHBOX
The celluloid saw a simple story of a housewife and a widower come alive with innate, hidden and suppressed emotions. However, the most beautiful aspect is how the exchange of notes in the regular tiffin service curbed the melancholy of life for the protagonists in the story. It is way ahead of its time. In other words, the way the characters involve the audience in their quite routines to connecting them with their innermost insecurities, suppressed, neglected, far-fetched feelings is something to look forward to. This one can certainly be considered as one of the best works of Irrfan Khan.
DIRECTOR: Vishal Bharadwaj
DURATION: 2 hr 13 mins
AVAILABLE ON: Hotstar, Youtube
Maqbool is a dark world which goes beyond the mechanics of the typical “mafia” movie. Abbaji (Pankaj Kapoor), an underworld don commands his empire with a iron hand and has as his trusted lieutenant Miyan Maqbool (an Irrfan Khan playing brilliantly on subtleties). The plot to assassinate the king is instigated by his queen (in this case, a mistress played by Tabu). Further, the duo have to learn to live as suspects – with suspicion among their own and as guilty partners in crime. Bharadwaj examines the complexities of love, lust, guilt and redemption. It is certainly one of the best Irrfan Khan movies.
It is a story of an experienced investigator (Irrfan Khan) who squares up to several conflicting theories about the assassins of the real life Noida Double Murder Case of Arushi Talvar, where the parents were said to be the prime suspects of the murders. In addition, it revolves around the 14-year old girl, Shruti and the domestic help, Khempal who worked at her place. Therefore there is much in this film that reinvents the generic elements that constitute its narrative spine.
5. ANGREZI MEDIUM
DIRECTOR: Homi Adajania
DURATION: 2 hr 30 mins
AVAILABLE ON: Hotstar
This movie is a shout-out to the silent force that a father is in his child’s life. When his daughter decides to further her studies in London, a hardworking Rajasthani businessman does everything in power to make her dreams come true. Above all, Irrfan Khan was undergoing treatment for a near-fatal disease. So kudos to him for overcoming the odds and giving us another masterful performance.
6. PAAN SINGH TOMAR
This story is a rather exquisite blend of drama, humor and tragedy; altogether eminently enjoyable good cinema. A biopic on a former national champion athlete, it is a superbly crafted film that underlines the linkage of life, sports and society. Moreover, Irrfan Khan outshines as Paan Singh Tomar, further leading him to bag the National award for his performance in the film. Though the language of the movie is thick Chamabl dialect but Irrfan bridges that gap with a masterful display forcing you to laugh, cry and feel his pain.
7. THE WARRIOR
DIRECTOR: Asif Kapadia
DURATION: 1 hr 26 mins
GENRE: Adventure, Drama
In feudal India, a warrior (Khan) who abandons his role as the longtime enforcer to a local lord becomes the prey in a murderous hunt through the Himalayan mountains.
8. SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE
DIRECTOR: Danny Boyle
DURATION: 2 hrs
GENRE: Drama, Romance
Based on a novel by Vikas Swarup called Q and A, director Danny Boyle and British screenwriter Simon Beaufoy, made a movie around a Mumbai teenager reflects on his life after being accused of cheating on the Indian version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”. Irrfan shines in his role in the movie and certainly delivers a performance to remember.
9. LIFE OF PI
DIRECTOR: Ang Lee
DURATION: 2 hrs 7 mins
GENRE: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
Life of Pi is a fascinating, emotional, intense story of faith and friendship. that raises questions about the reality of what we’ve seen and confronts the teleological issues involved.
DIRECTOR: Shoojit Sircar
DURATION: 2 hrs 5 mins
GENRE: Drama, Comedy
It is based on a beautiful Father – Daughter relationship which people may call weird. But, in fact it is depiction of situations of all old and sick parents in the world, specially India. Further, It takes us to a life changing journey from Delhi to Calcutta by road. Most people remember it for its storyline. But the way Irrfan brings it all together is mesmerising. Therefore, a Must Watch Movie.
DIRECTOR: Vishal Bhardwaj
DURATION: 2 hrs 4 mins
GENRE: Drama, Comedy
Haider is a brilliant adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet where a new character – Kashmir – joins the drama’s kings and queens. Vishal Bhardwaj’s Kashmir isn’t shikaras and Shammi Kapoor though. Set in 1995, amidst militancy and martial rule, this Kashmir is gray smoke and brown trees, frozen waters and fires glowing angrily on a lake.
-Vibhuti Verma and Muskaan Sharma
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