7 Career Defining Performances of the Veteran Actor, Irrfan Khan

Versatility and Irrfan Khan go hand in hand. Don’t believe us? Pick any (literally, any!) of his performances and you’d know what exactly are we talking about! He hails from Rajasthan and had decided quite early on in his life that he wants to act. The 51-year old actor is a National School of Drama alumni. He is one of the very few actors who began his career in television and, went on to become one of the celebrated movie actors worldwide. He debuted with a cameo in Mira Nair’s National awardee and Academy Award nominee Salaam Bombay!.

With his new release Blackमेल just a week away from release, we put 8 of his path-breaking performances under scanner. 

Haasil (2003)

Source: Karma Network Productions

Directed by the acclaimed director Tigmanshu Dhulia, Haasil is not the movie for light-hearted.  The film successfully encapsulates how politics can seep into the intricacies of the day-to-day life. The film is studded with great performances by Ashutosh Rana and Jimmy Sheirgill. But, it is Irrfan Khan who shines through every frame. He portrays the antagonist who is an aspiring politician named Ranvijay Singh. As Ranvijay, Irrfan is unpredictable and outright scary. He brings alive the brash, overly ambitious and fearless goon of Allahabad. Having played such a powerful character, got him the well-deserved Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role. 

Maqbool (2003)

Source: Kaleidoscope Entertainment

The year proved out to be one of the most remarkable years in Irrfan’s career. Another cinematic gem which reestablished not just him but the whole hindi film industry was Maqbool. Playing the titular role, Irrfan wowed the audiences all over the world with his remarkable acting prowess. The film, directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, was an adaptation of a play Macbeth by Shakespeare.

Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

Irrfan Khan has always supported content-driven films which is evident from his choice of films. Despite not being the lead in Slumdog Millionaire, he stood out with his performance as the investigating officer. By 2008, Irrfan had already become a renowned face in the world cinema. The film took away majority of awards internationally including Academy Award for Best Picture.

Paan Singh Tomar (2012)

Source: UTV Motion Pictures

Touted by many as the golden year for Irrfan’s career, he kickst-started with the award winning highly acclaimed film, Paan Singh Tomar. In this biographical drama, he essayed the role of an Indian Army soldier. It follows his journey of how he went on to win won a gold medal at the Indian National Games. His portrayal of Paan Singh Tomar helped the film become a blockbuster. Irrfan was awarded National Award for his knockout performance.

If this was any less of an achievement, he went to feature in two of the biggest international releases that year – The Amazing Spider-Man and Life of Pi.

The Lunchbox (2013)

Source: UTV Motion Pictures

Known to be one of the most soothing yet powerful performances, Saajan Fernandes (Irrfan Khan) of The Lunchbox was an offbeat romantic films. Nimrat Kaur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui played pivotal roles. Irrfan essayed a role of an old man. His brilliant acting makes it seem effortless. The film was even considered for India’s official entry to the Academy Awards.

Piku (2015)

Source: MSM Motion Pictures

Directed by the highly acclaimed director Shoojit Sircar, the film brought together India’s three finest actors together – Irrfan Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Deepika Padukone. Irrfan wowed the audiences and critics alike with his comic timing and acting skills. He played the romantic lead opposite Padukone. Contrary to popular belief, their chemistry charmed the cinegoers all over.

Hindi Medium (2017)

Source: T Series

A hindi remake of a Malayalam film, Irrfan essayed the lead role in a comedy drama for the first time. The film revolves around a couple who tries every trick in the book to get their daughter admitted to the best school in the city. The film went on to become the highest solo opener of Irrfan. He won Filmfare Award for Best Performance by an Actor (Male).

If you glance upon his illustrious filmography, one thing which sets him apart other actors is ‘consistency’. He has always been bold enough to make unconventional creative choices. With movies Yeh Saali Zindagi, D Day, Life of Pi, Life in a Metro, The Warrior, Jurassic World, A Mighty Heart, Mumbai Meri Jaan, The Amazing Spider-Man and many more, this living legend has carved his own path in cinema. A path which is followed by thousands of aspiring and working actors. With his upcoming release, Blackमेल, he tries his hand at dark comedy for the first time. Here is the quirky trailer:

Blackमेल releases next week. Don’t forget to book your tickets on Paytm!

Also Read:   From Real Life To Reel Life – Did These Actors Look Like The Characters They Portrayed?