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Happy Birthday Irrfan Khan: The only Khan who has stood the test of time
If you love cinema then you would understand the kind of invaluable contribution actors like Irrfan Khan has made to this field. The name itself is enough to draw anyone’s attention. Irrfan is one of those rare actors who has enthralled the audience for the last three decades but we still can’t get enough of him.
Irrfan’s effortless acting and nuance performance no matter what kind of role he is playing are some of the reasons why he was and will always be every cinephile’s favourite actor. When it comes to praising an actor of his calibre, you fall short of words. Describing his craft is as difficult as describing the shape of water. But yes, I certainly associate water with Irrfan’s personality. Irrfan effortlessly moulds himself in whatever situation he is and that’s exactly what makes him an indispensable actor.
Irrfan had a very small scene in Mira Nair’s Academy Award-nominated film ‘Salaam Bombay!’ but even in that blink-and-miss appearance, his earnestness is clearly evident. An actor’s intelligence and emotional quotient comes on display with the kind of films he takes up. Irrfan has always believed in walking the talk and just a glance at his filmography will help you understand his psyche and where he comes from.
From Tapan Sinha’s ‘Ek Doctor Ki Maut’ to ‘Angrezi Medium’, Irrfan has come a long way. And his journey has not been devoid of ups and downs. But looking at the way his career has shaped up, Khan must be extremely proud of his choices.
The poetry lover actor oozes simplicity and his down-to-earth attitude makes him a star to look up to. Whatever role Irrfan chooses to play it seems like they are an extension of an untaped part of his personality. He played the titular role in ‘Paan Singh Tomar‘ that earned him the National Award for Best Actor. Irrfan’s talent for natural acting is a gift that very few possess and know who to put it to use.
Khan’s collaboration with filmmakers like Mira Nair and Vishal Bhardwaj has always resulted in a gem of films and we are so glad they have come together on more than one occasion. He has delivered some of his most loved performances in Bhardwaj’s films such as ‘Maqbool’, ‘Haider’, ‘7 Khoon Maaf’.
The 53-year-old actor doesn’t believe in the length of his roles. Instead, he concentrates on the impact his characters will have irrespective of their running time. If you have seen his films like ‘Mumbai Meri Jaan’ and ‘Life in a… Metro’, he didn’t have any major role to play but if your just remove his part from these specific projects then they altogether lose their beauty.
One of my personal favourite roles of Irrfan is the screen adaptation of Jhumpa Lahiri’s ‘The Namesake’. The subtlety with which he has played Ashoke Ganguli is marvellous. It’s not every day that you get see an actor live his characters and Irrfan does exactly that. Every single time he brings something new and fresh to the table and despite working for the last thirty years, he still has so much more to offer to the viewers. Its a sheer delight whenever his projects are announced.
In Ritesh Batra’s ‘The Lunchbox’, there’s this one scene that will forever remain etched in my mind is when Saajaan Fernandes is almost ready to meet Ila (Nimrat Kaur) but after reaching the restaurant he decides to absorb the reality of the situation that he is in from a distance itself. He then reasons out why he couldn’t muster the courage to ahead and meet Ila. While leaving the house, he could sense that he is no longer a young man to engage with someone half his age. The purity of that scene is a cinematic feast for cinephiles. Some films need twists and turn to engage the viewers, but when it comes to Irrfan’s films only his presence is enough to keep you glued to the seat.
The actor has proved his versatility by doing a range of varied genres such as social-drama, romance, biopics, sci-fi, comedy, satire, political drama. His comic-timing is also class apart. Irrfan will make you pine for him in ‘Qarib Qarib Singlle’. His character Yogi comes out as a foolish and pain-in-the-ass man but by the end of the film, he introduces you to his sensitive and romantic side, some qualities which are so rare to see in our leading heroes these days. Irrfan doesn’t need to play conventional heroic characters to impress his female fans, his sensitive and evolved personality is enough to make girls fall for him.
Just watch ‘Piku‘ and you will understand the range of Khan as an actor. The graph of his character is very limited, but still, he will enchant you with his innocence and matter-of-fact attitude. In films like ‘Talvar’, he plays a demanding role with such an ease that you will feel solving murder cases is his part-time hobby.
And not just in Hindi films, Irrfan has spread his charm all over the globe thanks to some incredible performances in projects like ‘The Namesake’, ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, ‘Jurrasic World’, ‘Inferno’ and ‘Life of Pi’ to name a few. Irrfan is the only Khan in Bollywood who doesn’t need dedicated fan clubs to sustain his stardom. He is above all these things. His craft is enough to attract the audience to the theatres and that’s the ultimate achievement that any actor aspires to boast of.
I just can’t wait to watch this supremely talented actor in ‘Angrezi Medium‘ after all its been almost two years since we saw him on the silver screen. Last but not least, it’s my long-cherished dream to watch Irrfan reprise the role of Naseeruddin Shah in the remake of Gulzar Saab’s ‘Ijaazat'(if it is ever made). Imagine Irrfan romancing Vidya Balan and Kangana Ranaut in this love-triangle, oh god I just can’t wait for that day to arrive. Vidya and Kangana will be apt for stepping into the shoes of Rekha and Anuradha Patel. How I wish some director see the potential of this terrific casting and make my dream come true.
Also, I wish to watch Irrfan play Manto at least once in his life. That would be the best return gift I can ask from the birthday boy. We wish this supremely talented actor a very Happy Birthday and hope to see more of him in the coming years.
Also Read: Dear Irrfan Sir, Stay Strong Stay Positive
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