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Freida Pinto: My Essential Irrfan Khan Films
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Freida Pinto

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 with A.frame the movies that are closest to her heart.

The Namesake
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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.

Paan Singh Tomar
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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. 

The Lunchbox
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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.

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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. 

The Warrior
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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. 

Slumdog Millionaire
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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. 

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