Podcast | 5 Acting Performances by Irrfan Khan We Don't Talk About

This episode aims to celebrate his legacy by discussing five of his best acting performances.

3 min read
Hindi Female

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In this episode of Do I Like It, let us talk about Irrfan Khan. On 29 April 2020, Irrfan left us after a long battle with cancer. This episode aims to celebrate his legacy by discussing five of his best acting performances. But I won't be talking about obvious picks like The Namesake, The Lunchbox, Paan Singh Tomar, etc. I want to mention some hidden gems from his filmography which don't usually get talked about when we mention his acting but definitely deserve to be mentioned. 

Stay tuned and let us know your favorite performances by Irrfan.


Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Slumdog Millionaire was directed by Danny Boyle. 

Photo: IMDb

In a film that has Danny Bolye, AR Rahman’s music, a great story and an inventive screenplay, Irrfan’s performance as the stoic inspector holds its own. I’d say even more than Anil Kapoor or Mahesh Manjrekar, who had roles of similar lengths. But Irrfan’s straight forward, yet ironic encounters with Jamal are still memorable.


Billu (2009)

Billu was directed by Priyadarshan.

Photo: IMDb

While I had some tonal and screenplay related issues with Billu, Irrfan’s performance in this Priyardarshan film worked perfectly. See, good acting is not just about mumbling your lines, and talk conversationally in a boring manner. It’s about fitting in to the sur of the film. Which is exactly what Irrfan did here.


Thank You (2011)

Thank You was directed by Anees Bazmee.

Photo: IMDb

Just as the previous film, Irrfan gives an even bigger example on how to pick up the sur of the film and stick to it. Thank You is a film that’s unlike anything that you’d associate Irrfan with. It’s an Anees Bazmee comedy with Akshay Kumar, Suneil Shetty and Bobby Deol. It’s not Irrfan’s world AT ALL! But his scenes with Rimi Sen are some of the best. When he says, 'yeh chai ka cup hai ya world cup jo pakadke khade rahu', I cracked up.


New York (2009)

New York was directed by Kabir Khan.

Photo: IMDb

This is another one of those movies, where Irrfan's role isn't as long, but the impact he had on the story was memorable. In this Kabir Khan drama, Irrfan plays Roshan, an FBI agent who is the catalyst for Neil Nitin Mukesh's character to come back into the lives of John Abraham and Katrina Kaif. And dude! The man understood the assignment and delivered. Again, what an amazing dialogue delivery. 'Omar mai ek musalmaan hu, mujhe takleef hoti hai jab mai kisiko bhatakte hue dekhta hu'. Just Goosebumps!


Talvar (2015)

Talvar was directed by Meghna Gulzar.

Photo: IMDb

I think this is one of Irrfan’s most underrated films. He plays Ashwin Kumar, a CBI director who’s investigating Arushi Talwar’s murder case. And the way his optimism changes to sheer hopelessness at the UP Police’s botched investigation is so palpable. I had seen the coverage of this case live on TV, and Irrfan’s performance brings out the frustration that every Indian was feeling at the time.


To listen to more episodes of our review podcast 'Do I Like It', click here.

Listen to the second season of The Big Story, our award-winning series, here.

To check out 'Urdunama', a podcast where we talk about everyday Urdu words that you hear in movies and songs, click here.

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Topics:  irrfan khan   Irrfan Khan    Podcast 

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