Irrfan Khan was a true on-screen chameleon who transformed from a top athlete to a bandit to a common man looking for a bride to a doting dad smoothly in films. The actor is no more, but his memorable roles in Bollywood films will stay forever in the hearts of his millions of fans.
Here's the IANS guide to his top 10 Bollywood films:
Paan Singh Tomar
He brought the life story of the late Paan Singh Tomar, a champion athlete who later became a bandit, to the big screen. It wasn’t easy to get into skin of Tomar, who later came to be known as the ‘Bandit King’ of the Chambal Valley. "Two months before the shoot, I took physical training from a national-level coach on Steeplechase. It was difficult but enjoyable. I also undertook lessons on voice modulation and pronouncation as I had to speak in local dialect," Irrfan had said in a 2012 interview.
The 2013 film was a romantic movie but not the usual one with actors lip-syncing to love ballads. He played a lonely man on the verge of retirement. But before his office days are over, a mistaken lunchbox delivery changes his life.
“I long to explore romance in different ways. I don’t often get that chance. This concept of love, we misuse it. Love is pure connection, a strong longing,” the actor said in 2014.
It was a father-daughter film that was appreciated by many for Amitabh Bachchan and Deepika Padukone's natural acting. But Irrfan knew how to make his presence felt in the Shoojit Sircar directorial that had released in 2015. He played the role of a man who ran a cab service in Delhi. His profession makes him join the fun yet emotional ride with the father and daughter in Piku. “The script was so new. The flavour of the film, the emotions were all so new and fresh. That attracted me. Also, the team... Shoojit and Juhi (Chaturvedi, the writer of Piku). I was dying to work with them,” Irrfan had told India Today in 2015.
The 2004 crime drama about passion and power was an adaptation of the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare. In the Vishal Bhardwaj directorial that had Ames like Pankaj Kapur and Tabu attached to it, he played the title role -- right-hand man of an ageing don.
Life In A... Metro
The multi-starrer had multiple stories in one film dealing with topics like extramarital affairs, love and heartbreaks. He essayed the role of a straightforward man desperately looking for a bride. “My preparation was that I did not prepare for the role. I had complete faith in (director) Anurag Basu. The kind of character it was, it had to be done spontaneously. The only preparation was to think like a man who though he is 37-years-old now has not touched a girl. So one can imagine the desperation one feels when he has not touched a girl,” he had said in an interview.
The 2016 movie showed him as a grieving father who later kidnapped a top politician’s son. “ I play a man who feels the system has collapsed completely and there is a need for a reform. My character is not based on any one individual. Nor is the film an attack on my political ideology,” Irrfan had told IANS in 2016.
In the 2017 comedy-drama, he played a rich businessman who did everything -- even pretended to be underprivileged -- to get his daughter enrolled into an English school.
The 2018 movie took the audience on a fun road trip with Irrfan, Dulquer Salmaan and Mithila Palkar’s characters. Irrfan portrayed the friend who everyone would want in real life too. It showed his comic side and romantic sides too.
With a focus on student politics, the 2003 movie showed him as a student leader of Allahabad University that fetched him Filmfare Best Villain Award.
The 2020 film was a spin-off to Hindi Medium. Angrezi Medium was primarily a father-daughter story.