From ‘Angrezi Medium’ to ‘Piku’, Irrfan’s Best on OTT Platforms

Here are some of his best films of the actor, who passed away on Wednesday.

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Here are some of Irrfan’s movies you can stream online.
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On Wednesday, 29 April, Irrfan Khan, one of India’s most gifted actors passed away, leaving behind a legacy of great performances and films. He was known for his chameleon-like quality, slipping into roles with ease in films like Maqbool, The Namesake, Piku and several others. The silver lining, however, is the fact that we can continue to enjoy his work on several OTT platforms today. Here’s some of his work you can cherish:

1. The Lunchbox

(Available on Netflix)

One of Irrfan’s most charming performances is that of Saajan Fernandes in The Lunchbox. The film is love story that flowers between two people (played by Irrfan and Nimrat Kaur) over a tiffin box, fondly called the ‘dabbawala’ service in Mumbai. It was also a story about how people can feel an extreme sense of loneliness in a large city. Irrfan was showered with praises for his performance, and the film also received wide international acclaim, including a BAFTA nomination.

2. Talvar

(Available on Netflix and Hotstar)

Meghna Gulzar’s subtle drama-thriller based on the Arushi Talwar murder case saw a wonderfully restrained performance by Irrfan. He played Ashwin Kumar, Joint-Director of Central Depertment of Investigation (CDI), struggling to get to the bottom of the case. Irrfan’s strength lies in humanising his characters, and a scene that stands out in the film is one where he’s gulping a bowl of noodles on a street, thinking.

3. Tokyo Trial

(Available on Netflix)

The four part mini-series on Netflix depicts the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. The series is in Japanese, and Irrfan plays Radhabinod Pal who was an Indian jurist and a member of the United Nations' International Law Commission. A review of the series by Film Companion said, “Playing a contrarian, unafraid to challenge the popular opinion in the room, his performance is equal parts serene and tenacious. Tokyo Trial’s best moments come when Irrfan is pitted against the ensemble, forcing them to rise up to the occasion in the process.”

4. Piku

(Available on SonyLIV)

In Shoojit Sircar’s charming film, Irrfan played Rana Chaudhary, who owns a taxi business and finds himself stuck between a father-daughter duo essayed by Deepika Padukone and Amitabh Bachchan. His interactions with Bachchan, who plays Bhashkor, a man obsessed with his bowel movements will leave you in splits!

5. The Namesake

(Not available in India)

Irrfan played Ashoke Ganguly, an immigrant professor in the US in Mira Nair’s The Namesake. He and his wife Ashima, played by Tabu, struggle to adjust there, as they also try to bring up their son (Kal Penn), and the conflicts that arise with him. Irrfan wonderfully plays the doting husband and father, and gets the Bengali accent spot on.

6. Maqbool

(Available on Hotstar)

In Vishal Bharadwaj’s Maqbool, based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Irrfan plays the titular role who then goes onto murder his uncle played by Pankaj Kapur. The film has the Mumbai underworld as its backdrop and Irrfan as always is nothing short of terrific.

7. In Treatment

(Available on Hotstar)

In Treatment is about a psychotherapist and the weekly sessions that he has with his patients, and also ones he has with his own therapist. Irrfan appears in season 3 as a patient in seven episodes. The show is essentially about two people talking, and Irrfan plays a grieving Indian struggling in an alien land, and as usual is nothing short of fantastic.

8. Angrezi Medium

(Available on Hotstar)

Angrezi Medium was Irrfan’s last release and was sadly not able to get a proper theatrical release because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but is now available on Hotstar. The film is a sequel to Irrfan’s earlier film Hindi Medium, where he plays Champak a sweet shop owner in Jaipur, and a single father whose daughter (Radhika Madan) dreams to study in London. The film follows their trials and tribulations as they land up in London. On Irrfan’s performance in the film, critic Rajeev Masand said, “It’s an effortless job – ‘makkhan’ as they say in Hindi – a performance so light on its feet, it never feels like acting. He invests Champak with genuine humanity, despite the uneven script. You can’t help feeling especially appreciative knowing that he made the film while critically unwell.”

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