Irrfan Khan death: From Maqbool to Life of Pi, 9 performances of Irrfan Khan that show that his legacy will live on
Facebook - Irrfan Khan picture by Wasif Shagor

Irrfan Khan's death on Wednesday has sent shockwaves around the world. One of the best actors of his generation, Irrfan was one of the few people who seamlessly moved into Hollywood, while balancing out his Bollywood career.

While he may have left us, his legacy will live on forever. Keeping this in mind, we selected some of his performances that will be showcased in several film schools across the world in the years to come

Paan Singh Tomar

Hailed by many as Irrfan’s greatest performance, the titular character is the tragic story of Indian National Games-winning athlete-turned dacoit. For the role, Irrfan underwent drastic physical transformation and turned into the character entirely.


You have to become a household name at some point if you’re a great actor. Irrfan Khan’s performance in the Vishal Bharadwaj-directed Maqbool inspired by the Shakespearean tragedy Macbeth certainly made him a superstar. His chemistry with Tabu and his onscreen chemistry with Om Puri and Naseruddin Shah (who play the equivalent of the Weird Sisters) is quite brilliant.

The Namesake

Based on Jhumpa Lahiri’s book, this Mira Nair-directed movie is a coming of age story where Irrfan Khan and Tabu (again) play a middle-aged couple from West Bengal who have immigrated to the United States. The story of how they come to terms with the lives of their American born children is remembered for Irrfan’s performance.


One of the most memorable films of Irrfan’s career, the actor, unlike his intense and serious avatars, was seen in a light-hearted film playing the role of an impatient yet resourceful businessman Rana Chaudhary. The character’s innate ability to bring happiness and stability to the protagonist Piku’s ( played by Deepika Padukone) life with his amazing sense of humour makes it a wonderful cinematic experience.


The Vishal Bhardwaj directorial sees Irrfan playing the role of a plot changer. Irrfan essayed the role of Roohdaar, whose duty was to remind Haider (played by Shahid Kapoor) to avenge the death of his father. Having some of the best lines in the film makes it a must watch for all Irrfan fans.

7 Khoon Maaf

Another masterpiece in the actor’s long career, ‘7 Khoon Maaf’, sees him stealing the limelight despite not being the protagonist. His portrayal of Wasiullah Khan is definitely one of his most unforgettable roles on-screen. The actor played the role of a creative soul, a poet married to Priyanka, who has split personalities.

Life Of Pi

The list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Ang Lee’s directorial based on Yann Martel’s fantasy novel of the same name. Apart from the amazing storytelling and breathtakingly beautiful visuals, ‘Life Of Pi’ is known for one more thing and that’s Irrfan Khan. Irrfan as the adult ‘Pi’, makes the most dialogue-heavy and intense scenes of the film as appealing as the awe-inspiring visuals.

Life In A Metro

The film is a must watch as it earned Irrfan three awards for his stellar performance. Playing the role of Monty, a straightforward man, Konkana’s on-screen character Shruti meets through a matrimonial website was one of the first subtle comical performances of Irrfan that truly represented his versatility and his natural acting.


Irrfan was seen in ‘Karwaan’ alongside Malayalam heartthrob Dulquer Salmaan and internet sensation Mithila Palkar. The movie is a light-hearted comic tale which takes you on a journey of three completely different people on a road trip and traces their journey both within and without.

Hindi/Angrezi Medium

Angrezi Medium was his last movie, which recently released before the lockdown happened. Irrfan Khan yet again proves that he doesn’t need the crutch of a great film to showcase his abilities. His power packed performance can even make an otherwise disjoined film come together as a whole and appear convincing in spite of its flaws.

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