He remains one of the few actors who has consistently acted in top Hollywood movies and left his lasting impressions in the global cinema for his nuanced and understated performances.
WE CELEBRATE THE WORK OF THE VERSATILE ACTOR WHO THRILLED AUDIENCES AROUND THE WORLD FOR OVER THREE DECADES.
The great Irrfan Khan, who died April 29 after a long illness, left behind such a rich cinematic legacy that it’s nearly impossible to define. Over the course of his 30-year career, Irrfan did pretty much everything, from big Bollywood hits (Life in a… Metro) to Oscar winners (Slumdong Millionaire, Life of Pi), from Hollywood blockbusters (Jurassic World, The Amazing Spider-Man) to small dramas (The Namesake, Puzzle). For all his fine work in Western films, however, Khan was widely considered to be one of India’s finest actors. Beyond his considerable skill, Irrfan’s face was one of cinema’s most expressive — a veritable wellspring of feeling. Here are a few key performances from the man Tom Hanks called “the coolest guy in the room.”
When his daughter decides to further her studies in London, a hardworking Rajasthani businessman does everything in power to make her dreams come true.
Irrfan subsequently worked steadily in Hollywood as a dependable character actor (and occasional star), but he never left Indian movies; if anything, the rest of world came to him. In The Lunchbox, he plays a lonely widower who one day ends up with the wrong lunchbox at work, which contains a delicious meal and a note from a woman hoping to spice up her humdrum marriage. What follows is an intimate correspondence between these two heartsick strangers. Charming, funny, and sad, The Lunchbox was a critical and commercial smash, winning loads of festival awards and a BAFTA nomination (though it was controversially snubbed by the Oscars). At the center of it all was Khan in an understated performance as a man breaking free from soul sickness — and helping a stranger do the same.
Paan Singh Tomar (2012)
The story of Paan Singh Tomar, an Indian athlete and seven-time national steeplechase champion who becomes one of the most feared dacoits in Chambal Valley after his retirement.
Six different stories, about nine people, each with different issues and problems, all occurring within one place: the METRO.
A Mumbai teenager reflects on his life after being accused of cheating on the Indian version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”.
HINDI MEDIUM (2017)
A sleeper hit that did solid business overseas, Hindi Medium is a feel-good comedy with a healthy dose of social commentary. In an attempt to get their daughter into a prestigious English school, Raj (Irrfan) and Mita (Saba Qamar) decide they need an upgrade in their social standing. What follows is a comedy of manners enlivened by some catchy tunes, as Raj attempts (and often fails) to freshen up his image, but Hindi Medium also a critique of the application process of elite schools. As Raj, Khan juggles farce and drama without breaking a sweat, and he has no difficulty convincing us that his character would do anything for his daughter.
An experienced investigator confronts several conflicting theories about the perpetrators of violent double homicide.
A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger.
A moving portrayal of the 2006 train bombings in Mumbai, this Indian drama follows the interconnected stories of several strangers.
A quirky comedy about the relationship between a daughter and her aging father, whose eccentricities drive everyone crazy.