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My Essential Irrfan Khan Films
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Freida Pinto

Actress

There was simply no one like Irrfan Khan. His grace and dignity along with his monumental talent as an artist, actor - a portrayer of humanity in all it's shapes and forms - made me not only have deep admiration for him but I instinctively wanted to emulate that grace in my career as well. - Freida Pinto

A longtime fan of Irrfan's work, Freida believes there is something for everyone in his repertoire. Here, she shares the movies that are closest to her heart.

1

The Namesake

2006

WHERE TO WATCH

Irrfan's performance as Ashok Ganguly is heartwarming and heartbreaking. His chemistry with another actor I beyond admire, Tabu, is the warmest and most poetic portrayal of love. Irrfan makes a lot of South Asian immigrant dads feel seen in this film.

WHERE TO WATCH
The Namesake
2006
122 Mins | PG-13
An American (Kal Penn) deals with his family's East Indian traditions.


2

Paan Singh Tomar

2012

WHERE TO WATCH

Irrfan's portrayal of a former army official and national level athlete being pushed to the limits forcing him to become a gang leader and rebel to take matters into his own hands and protect his family and his self-respect is an absolute thrill. The delicate balance of humor and rage keeps you invested the whole way through. You want Irrfan's Paan Singh to never get caught by the police. 

WHERE TO WATCH
Paan Singh Tomar
2012
135 Mins | 12A
Forced to give up his athletic career, a former champion becomes a feared bandit.


3

The Lunchbox

2013

WHERE TO WATCH

The magic of Irrfan's ability to lead stories that read like love letters is again on full display in his portrayal of Saajan Fernandes, a widower who develops an unexpected relationship with a woman he has never met, Ila, when he accidentally receives her husband's lunchbox. This is the perfect weekend movie. Irrfan mostly leads this movie with his deep warm eyes.

WHERE TO WATCH
The Lunchbox
2013
105 Mins | PG
A mistaken lunch delivery leads to a friendship via letters between a widower and a housewife.


4

Maqbool

2004

One of the first Irrfan movies I watched, which solidified my die-hard fandom for him. He plays a rather conflicted character, torn between love and loyalty, battling guilt while desiring more power. Yes, it is the Indian retelling of Macbeth, and Irrfan and Tabu (yes, the amazing Tabu) sign you up for a rollercoaster of emotions. 

WHERE TO WATCH
Maqbool
2004
The intrigue of the Shakespearean tragedy 'Macbeth' is transposed to the Mumbai underworld.


5

The Warrior

2001

I admit I came to this movie because I love Asif Kapadia's work. But I ended up being swept off my feet with the quiet power of Irrfan Khan. I watched this film after Irrfan was already a star in India and I was in awe of how even in his earlier performances, he was always a star. We just came to realize that later. His ability to interpret violent complexity and stay kind and warm is just pure genius. 

WHERE TO WATCH
The Warrior
2001
85 Mins | R
A swordsman must outrun a despot's henchmen after he renounces violence and heads for the Himalayas.


6

Slumdog Millionaire

2008

WHERE TO WATCH

This one has a special place in my heart. While it was mostly a cast of newcomers and kids, Irrfan leads the supporting cast and somehow steals every scene he is in. This is the movie that introduced me to the human that is Irrfan Khan which, you must know, is just as beautiful as the actor Irrfan Khan. 

WHERE TO WATCH
Slumdog Millionaire
2008
116 Mins | R
Flashbacks reveal how a poor young man (Dev Patel) winds up on a popular TV quiz show.


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