They don't make gems like Irrfan Khan anymore! Memorable performances of the late actor

Updated: 29 April, 2020 15:09 IST | Nikita Wagh
  • Maqbool

    Maqbool (2003): The first in Vishal Bhardwaj's Shakespearean trilogy, 'Maqbool' is an Indian adaptation of the play 'Macbeth' where Irrfan plays the titular role to perfection. Officially his first Bollywood film in a lead role, an opportunity passed on by Akshay Kumar, Irrfan's performance garnered rave reviews.

  • Haasil

    Haasil (2003): Critics praised his portrayal of a brash and fearless goon in 'Haasil'. His performance earned him the Filmfare Best Villain Award.

  • Life in a... Metro

    Life in a... Metro (2007): In 2007, he appeared in the box office hit 'Life in a... Metro' for which he received a Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award. His chemistry with Konkana Sensharma in the film was much talked about and appreciated.

  • The Namesake

    The Namesake (2007): Irrfan effortlessly stepped into the shoes of a practical, cool-headed Bengali man, Ashoke Ganguli, and pulled off the US accent too. The chemistry between Irrfan and Tabu was subtle, powerful and engaging.

  • Billu

    Billu (2009): The most effective stories are the ones narrated simply. This is exactly what makes Irrfan's titular role in 'Billu' so heart-warming. He delivers a performance that raises the bar for himself and makes us laugh and cry just as effortlessly.

  • Yeh Saali Zindagi

    Yeh Saali Zindagi (2011): The crime-thriller unfolds as a narration by Irrfan, a gangster who works for the shady Saurabh Shukla but loses his heart to Chitrangda. He emoted less with his words and more with his eyes and left the audience wanting more of his subtle performances.

  • Paan Singh Tomar

    Paan Singh Tomar (2012): Hailed as Irrfan's best performance till date, he received several awards and nominations for his portrayal of real-life Rajput runner Paan Singh Tomar, including the National Film Award for Best Actor and Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor.

  • Life of Pi

    Life of Pi (2012): As the older self of Pi Patel, a boy who survived being lost at sea with a Bengal tiger, Irrfan's role involved narrating the fantastical story to a writer. Irrfan was praised for his simplified portrayal of the complex character; a performance that balanced the details of truth and fiction well.

  • The Lunchbox

    The Lunchbox (2013): Sajjan (Irrfan) and Ila (Nimrat) haven't met but helped by a twist of fate. They start sending each other little personal notes and soon these initially inhibited and later intimate notes become the highlight of their lonely existence. Irrfan, as a man who's toughened himself because of unfortunate circumstances, is brilliant and charming.

  • Haider

    Haider (2014): Irrfan has a small but powerful cameo as Roohdaar (the man with the soul), who comes as a torchbearer for Haider. His performance, along with that of the rest of the film's cast, has been widely praised.

  • Qissa

    Qissa (2014): Irrfan plays Umber Singh, a Sikh who loses everything during the partition of India in 1947, and is forced to leave his homeland. He wishes for a male heir. When his fourth daughter (Tillotama Shome) is born, he decides to raise her as a son, to the extent that he gets her married to a woman. Irrfan and Tillotama have garnered critical acclaim for their performance and the film has been lauded at several international film festivals.

  • Talvar

    Talvar (2015): With 'Talvar', Meghna Gulzar takes a plunge into telling three theories around the 2008 murder of 14-year-old Aarushi Talwar and her family's domestic servant Hemraj, on the big screen. Irrfan plays Central Department of Investigation officer, Ashwin Kumar, who is convinced that the parents are innocent and suspects two servants to be the killers. Irrfan prepared for a month to get into the skin of his character and delivers an exceptionally confident performance.

  • Madaari

    Madaari (2016): 'Madaari' is another addition to those films that give the common man power to topple the movers and shakers of society. The message: you alone can make things happen, if you take things in your stride. Even though the film failed at the box office, Irrfan heaped praises for his performance. Pic/YouTube

  • Hindi Medium

    Hindi Medium (2017): Irrfan and Pakistani actress Saba Qarim starred in this comedy-drama exposing the society's unreal obsession with English oratory skills.

  • Qarib Qarib Singlle

    Qarib Qarib Singlle (2017): Irrfan starred in this slice of life love story between two diametrically opposite people. Irrfan romanced southern belle Parvathy in this film and it not only opened to packed houses, but was also critically acclaimed.

  • Karwaan

    Karwaan (2018): Based on three disparate individuals — a young millennial girl (Mithila Palkar); a single, urbane man, grappling with the usual downs of a regimented, corporate life (Dulquer Salmaan); and an old, conservative Muslim with a Lucknowi/Hyderabadi/Bhopali twang/swag (Irrfan) — going on a road trip, that threatens to change their world. Irrfan provided all the fun in the film, though the film didn't work at the Box Office.

  • Angrezi Medium

    Angrezi Medium (2020): His last film was comedy-drama Angrezi Medium, which hit theatres on March 13, 2020. But the film had a short run due to the coronavirus crisis that forced a complete shutdown of cinema halls. The film is a sequel to the 2017 hit film 'Hindi Medium', which starred Irrfan Khan and Saba Qamar in the lead roles. The movie also features Kareena Kapoor Khan, Radhika Madan and Deepak Dobriyal in pivotal roles.

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About The Gallery

Irrfan Khan passed away on April 29, 2020, after battling neuroendocrine cancer. He was 53. He was regarded as a fine actor by fans and critics alike, having given us critically acclaimed films like 'The Lunchbox' and 'Paan Singh Tomar'. We take a look at some of the most memorable performances that helped him establish a successful career not just in Bollywood, but Hollywood as well.

First Published: 07 January, 2019 10:00 IST