• Saturday, May 25, 2024


Remembering Irrfan Khan: 5 must-watch international films on his 4th death anniversary

His ability to seamlessly transition between roles, genres, and cultures showcased his unmatched prowess as an actor.

Irrfan Khan (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for IMDb)

By: Mohnish Singh

It has been four years since the world lost one of its most versatile and beloved actors, Irrfan Khan. On April 29th, we commemorate the fourth anniversary of his passing, yet his legacy continues to thrive through his timeless performances. Irrfan Khan, with his extraordinary talent and captivating presence, left an indelible mark on both Indian and international cinema.

While Khan’s contribution to Bollywood is immense, his foray into international cinema has also been noteworthy. His ability to seamlessly transition between roles, genres, and cultures showcased his unmatched prowess as an actor. As we honor his memory, let’s revisit some of his must-watch international films that exemplify his exceptional talent:

1. Life of Pi (2012)

Directed by Ang Lee, Life of Pi is a visually stunning adaptation of Yann Martel’s novel, where Irrfan Khan plays the adult version of Pi Patel, reflecting on his extraordinary journey stranded at sea with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Khan’s portrayal of Pi exudes wisdom, resilience, and introspection, grounding the fantastical narrative with his nuanced performance.

2. The Namesake (2006)

Based on Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel, The Namesake directed by Mira Nair, follows the journey of an Indian-American family navigating the complexities of identity, culture, and belonging. Irrfan Khan’s portrayal of Ashoke Ganguli, a thoughtful and introspective father, captures the nuances of the immigrant experience with grace and authenticity, making it a poignant and heartfelt exploration of cultural assimilation.

3. Jurassic World (2015)

In the fourth installment of the Jurassic Park franchise, Jurassic World, Irrfan Khan plays Simon Masrani, the CEO of the Masrani Corporation and the owner of the Jurassic World theme park. Khan’s portrayal of Masrani is charismatic and charming, yet also carries a sense of responsibility and moral complexity as he grapples with the consequences of genetic engineering and corporate greed.

4. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

While Irrfan Khan’s role in Slumdog Millionaire may be brief, his portrayal of the police inspector is memorable and impactful. Directed by Danny Boyle, this Academy Award-winning film offers a gritty portrayal of life in Mumbai’s slums and follows the remarkable journey of Jamal Malik, a young chaiwallah who becomes a contestant on India’s version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Khan’s performance adds depth and gravitas to the narrative, showcasing his ability to leave a lasting impression with even the smallest of roles.

5. The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited sees Irrfan Khan in a supporting role as the enigmatic businessman, the father of three brothers embarking on a spiritual journey across India aboard a train. Khan’s portrayal adds a layer of mystery and wisdom to the whimsical narrative, further enriching the film’s exploration of familial bonds, self-discovery, and cultural immersion.

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