Six roles that only Irrfan Khan could have pulled off

There are the Khans who are crowd pleasers and then there is Irrfan Khan. The award-winning actor is known for his versatile performances, unmatched talent and offbeat movies. Easily one of Bollywood’s most gifted actors, Irrfan has proven he is a performer who delivers quality. Here are six roles of his which showcase his skill as an actor.

1. Aadam in The Song of Scorpions

Irrfan plays Aadam, a camel trader who is hopelessly in love with Nooran (Golshifteh Farahani). Nooran is a healer who saves people poisoned by the sting of a scorpion through her singing. Irrfan comes across as soulful and sensitive initially, but his flaws unravel as the movie progresses. By the end you’re left asking, is he really who he seems to be? The ease with which he plays both personas is what makes Irrfan a treat to watch in this movie. The Song of Scorpions did not have a theatrical release in India, but was well received at film festivals.

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2. Paan Singh Tomar in Paan Singh Tomar

Irrfan shone in Tigmanshu Dhulia’s movie which was based on a true story. It was an unconventional role for him but Irrfan proved sceptics wrong by pulling it off with swag. He played an army soldier and an award-winning athlete who is forced to become a dacoit after retiring. The movie was shot on a shoestring budget and was under production for a long while. Irrfan’s gritty performance stunned everyone, so much so that he won a National Film Award for Best Actor.

Paan Singh Tomar
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3. Saajan Fernandez in The Lunchbox

A lonely accountant falls in love with an unhappily married housewife over a series of handwritten notes in a lunchbox. No one could have done this role better than Irrfan. His portrayal of an ageing grouch who is about to retire from work was spot on. His brilliant performance ensured that the audience saw his chemistry with Nimrat Kaur even though they never share screen space

Saajan Fernandez in The Lunchbox
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4. Miyan Maqbool in Maqbool

When Irrfan teamed up with Vishal Bhardwaj, audiences knew they were in for a treat. And Maqbool didn’t disappoint. The adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth had stalwarts such as Naseeruddin Shah, Pankaj Kapur and Om Puri. Despite this, Irrfan managed to hold his own. He brought the character of Miyaan Maqbool to life with his characteristic intensity and boorish charm. His portrayal of the tragic hero caught between love and loyalty floored audiences and critics alike

Miyan Maqbool in Maqbool
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5. Rana Chaudhary in Piku

There was a perception that Irrfan could only play intense roles and was unable to do comedy. However, Piku changed all that. Irrfan played Rana Choudhary, an impatient businessman who owns a fleet of taxis. His sharp wit and impeccable comic timing proved that he could make the audience laugh as well. His banter with Amitabh Bachchan was one of the highlights of Piku. In a story filled with eccentric characters, Irrfan managed to shine as the “normal” one. And trust us, this is no easy task

Rana Chaudhary in Piku
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The National
6. Dev Kaushal in Blackmail

An average middle class man is stuck in a loveless marriage. He returns home early one day to find his wife with another man in bed. Instead of confronting them, he starts blackmailing them, which leads to hilarious chaos. Irrfan carried this dark comedy on his shoulders with his amazing performance. He pulled off both roles of the wronged husband and blackmailer really well. His character is someone we can all relate to, yet complex and unpredictable at the same time. And this is where Irrfan’s acting prowess shone through

Dev Kaushal in Blackmail
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DNA India