Reminiscing Through the Past: Irrfan’s Top Five Films to Look Back At

7 Min Read

Maisha Islam Monamee

Notable actor Irrfan Khan left the world shattered by his sudden demise earlier this week. As we sit behind locked doors, here are some of the best performances of Irrfan Khan to go through.


 Hindi Medium

“Yeh headmaster, headmaster nahi hai ji, yeh businessman hai.

Aur aaj kal padhai, padhai nahi hai ji, yeh dhandha hai dhandha” 


An all-time favourite comedy-drama that beautifully portrays the struggles of parents in providing their children with the best educational facilities. The film revolves around Raj Batra, a boutique owner, settled in Old Delhi and his wife Mita. As the story progresses, the couple struggles to admit their daughter in a prestigious English Medium school to nurture her as a part of the elite society. Unable to do any good by engaging with a consultant, the family moves to an underprivileged area and disguises themselves to be impoverished, just to enter the best school through RTE (Right To Education) quota. The movie is a fun family watch and subtly addresses the mighty pillars of the elite class, who by all means grab the little rights of the underprivileged communities. A full-on entertainer and one of my favourite characters of Irrfan Khan is surely going to lift your mood.


Angrezi Medium

“Bachpan mein bachcha hamari ungli pakad ke chale hai, taki bheed mein kho na jave.

Aur jis din wo hamari ungli chod deto aise lage jaise hum hi kho gaye ho. 

Par baat bhi hai bhaisaab.

Jab talak baalak apki ungli chodega nahi, tab talak aake gale kaise lagavega”   


A spiritual sequel to the movie Hindi Medium, this film witnesses the last appearance of Irrfan Khan. The film revolves around a father-daughter duo with the father being desperate to fulfill his daughter’s overarching dreams. Portraying the struggles behind quality education, this movie shall make you laugh and cry. Champak, played by Irrfan, is a widower in the movie and does all that it takes to admit his daughter in London’s Truford University. Irrfan’s emotions as a father and his natural antics would make you fall in love with his character. 



“Death aur shit – yeh do cheezein kisi ko, kabhi bhi aa sakti hai”


Even in the presence of Amitabh Bachchan and Deepika Padukone, Irrfan easily sets an imprint of his character amongst the audience. The comedy-drama directed by Shoojit Sircar revolves around a short-tempered daughter, a grumpy old father and a taxi service owner stuck between the two. Bhaskar (Piku’s father, played by Amitabh Bachchan) has chronic constipation and often quarrels with others residing in the house. Piku wants to sell their ancestral home in Kolkata which Bhaskar objects passionately. The duo then decides to travel to Kolkata, and Bhaskar ensures it is a road trip that would not escalate his constipation. Irrfan’s role as Rana Chaudhary is very simple in the film and the way he connects with the duo during the road trip makes you fall in awe with the three of them. Rana manages to leave his mark in the mind of Bhaskar who starts to change and also builds an emotive relationship with Piku during their walks across Kolkata.  



“Bol ki lab aazad hain tere. Bol jawan ab tak teri hai,

 Tera sutvaan jism hai tera. Bol jahan ab tak teri hai,

 Bol ki thoda vakt bahut hai. Jismo juma ke maut se pahle,

 Bol ki sach jinda hai ab tak. Bol jo kuch kehna hai keh le”


This social-thriller is a highly underrated film and is a must-watch performance by Irrfan. The movie revolves around a protective father, Nirmal, whose only motive of life was his son Apu, whose untimely demise in a bridge collapse leaves Nirmal’s world shattered. As he starts to get back on track, he kidnaps the son of the Home Minister and travels with him across the country in public transports, evading the police. He, from time to time, calls the Home Minister, urging for an unbiased inquiry behind his son’s disappearance and demands everyone at fault to be punished. As the story progresses, the kidnapped child grows close to Nirmal as he begins to understand his grief. The movie is a sad story and is bound to leave you with a few drops of tears, but trust me it is one of Irrfan’s best performances on screen.



“Kisi bhi begunha ko sazaa milne se achha hai ki dus gunhegar shoot jaye”


This thriller-drama revolves around two murders, on the same night, in the Tandon’s residence. Mr. and Mrs. Tandon was grieved to find the corpse of their daughter Shruti. As the police begin their investigation, they look for a missing servant, whose decomposed dead body is found in the same building. As the story progresses, the police suspect the Tandons over ‘honour-killing’ of their daughter and the servant after finding them in a compromising position. When the case is assigned to CDI, Irrfan Khan (Joint Director of CDI), enters the story and believes the parents to be innocent. The case is almost solved as he accuses an assistant of the family committing the crime, some internal conflicts within CDI dismisses all such claims in thin air as the Tandons get convicted for the murder.


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