Out This Week: 30 April 2020 – WFH Edition

A tribute to the great Irrfan Khan in the wake of his passing.

This week on our WFH Edition, we will offer a look back at some of the films reviewed on Filmphoria of the great Irrfan Khan who died yesterday after two years struggle with cancer. He was a respected and brilliant actor with a great career in Bollywood and Hollywood as well.  RIP Good Sir, you will be missed. Besides the six films listed here, please seek out his other acclaimed work: The Namesake, Paan Singh Tomar, The Lunchbox, Qissa, Talvar, Piku, and many more!

Life of Pi (2012)

Directed by: Ang Lee
With: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain, and Tabu

What is it about: A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger.

Heads Up: Irrfan Khan played adult Pi, telling his story to a journalist, and his performance was heartbreakingly great. This is the rare film that has three reviews in our site from our three main critics. In his 4½ stars review our critic Lloyd Bayer wrote: “For a débutant, Sharma has a large chunk of screen-time and holds the story singlehandedly with some amusing interjections. On the other hand, khan has fewer scenes but skilfully advocates the phrase that less can prove to be more“. In his 4½ stars review, our critic Faizan Rashid wrote: “it is really Irrfan Khan who surprises as the adult Pi, wiser and imbued with a poet’s depth in his conversations; his dialogues having all the hallmarks of a divine, graceful storyteller“. Last but not least, and in yet another 4½ stars review, our critic Shariq Madani wrote:”Debutante Suraj Sharma carries the film well, though it is Irrfan Khan’s narrator that really brings life to the character“.

How to Watch it: Google Play / iTunes / OSN Store

Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Directed by: Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tandan (co-director)
With: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Irrfan Khan, Saurabh Shukla, Anil Kapoor, and Mahesh Manjrekar

What is it about: A Mumbai teenager reflects on his life after being accused of cheating on the Indian version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”.

Heads Up: Even though Irrfan Khan plays a small supporting role here, as the brutal police inspector who torture our protagonist, he managed to leave an impression, and he was one of the recipient of a SAG award for “Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture”. in his ★★★★☆ reviewShariq Madani wrote”A few Bollywood actors fill in some of the supporting roles, notable Anil Kapoor, Irfan Khan and Mahesh Manjrekar, to bring added vibrancy to a movie set against and for the undying spirit of a city that’s seen it all“.

How to Watch it: iTunes

Maqbool (2003)

Directed by: Vishal Bhardwaj
With: Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Pankaj Kapur, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, and Piyush Mishra

What is it about: The intrigue of the Shakespearean tragedy ‘Macbeth’ is transposed to the Mumbai underworld.

Heads Up: Vishal Bhardwaj knocked it out the park with his first big screen adaptation of a Shakespeare‘s classic Macbeth.  Shariq Madani gave it a very favorable ★★★★★ review, and in it he wrote: “Fittingly, the lead is played by Irfan Khan, the de facto successor of the two thespians of India’s art films. Khan, as is his forte, portrays the character as if he was born to play it. From his matter-of-fact way of delivering lines to the screaming eyes, he is a treat to watch“.

How to Watch it: YouTube

Haider (2014)

Directed by: Vishal Bhardwaj
With: Shahid Kapoor, Tabu, Shraddha Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, Kay Kay Menon, Ashish Vidyarthi, Aamir Bashir, and Kulbhushan Kharbanda

What is it about: A young man returns to Kashmir after his father’s disappearance to confront his uncle, whom he suspects of playing a role in his father’s fate.

Heads Up: Vishal Bhardwaj‘s third adaptation of a shakespearean tragedy after Maqbool and Omkara, and this time he tackled Hamlet. transferring it into a Kashmirian setting against the backdrop of the struggle between the insurgents who wants an independent Kashmir, and the Indian Army’s Iron fist. Irrfan Khan played a small role here too, but he was a part of a great cast the brought this adaptation to life. In his ★★★★★ reviewShariq Madani wrote:”It is a challenge to tackle one of the most complex characters in literature, something that Kapoor pulls off with élan. His character’s descent into madness (fake and real) embodies the struggle of “to be or not to be”, emphasized in one of Haider’s monologues. In fact, the famous line is delightfully translated and paraphrased a few times in the movie, once even for comic effect. The rest of the cast also sinks their teeth into their well-defined parts: Kay Kay Menon, Irrfan Khan, Shraddha Kapoor and Narendra Jha play definitive versions of their characters. Rounding them off is the brilliant but elusive Tabu as Haider’s mother Ghazala in a wonderfully evocative performance. Subtle yet powerful, her presence underlines the theme of conflict in the movie: love vs hate, vengeance vs forgiveness and innocence vs guilt“.

How to Watch it: Netflix / iTunes

Jurassic World (2015)

Directed by: Colin Trevorrow
With: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Irrfan Khan, Ty Simpkins, Omar Sy, and Judy Greer

What is it about: A new theme park, built on the original site of Jurassic Park, creates a genetically modified hybrid dinosaur, the Indominus Rex, which escapes containment and goes on a killing spree.

Heads Up: Jurassic World is nowhere as good as the original Jurassic Park, but it was a fun film that managed to bring back the franchise from dormancy and it became the biggest hit of the summer. Irrfan Khan plays the CEO who own Jurassic World, a play on the character of John Hammond from the original film. He shares some of his hubris, but ultimately he too did not turn out to be the bad guy. Lloyd Bayer in his 3½ stars review: “Jurassic World and its older siblings have never been about an actor’s depth. It’s all about the dinosaurs and their fight for supremacy in the food chain. After all, these were creatures of calamity but also creatures that dominated the planet long before we did. Bringing them back to full celluloid life is where this film excels and by the looks of it, no expense was spared. In other words, if there’s one film that gives you your money’s worth this summer, this is it and does so in Jurassic proportions”.

How to Watch it: Netflix / iTunes

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Directed by: Marc Webb
With: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Irrfan Khan, Denis Leary, Martin Sheen, and Sally Field

What is it about: After Peter Parker is bitten by a genetically altered spider, he gains newfound, spider-like powers and ventures out to save the city from the machinations of a mysterious reptilian foe.

Heads Up: This first reboot of the Spider-Man franchise was rushed to screen because Sony did not want to lose the right to the beloved comic book character to Disney. The result was The Amazing Spider-Man which had a middling commercial success, a mostly lukewarm critical reception, and an almost universal pan from the comics fanbase. Irrfan Khan played a small role here that unfortunately did not register with many, but I’m hoping that at least it was a decent payday for him. In his ★★☆☆ review our critic Faizan Rashid wrote: “A better Spiderman film would have not only waited (reboots also serve to re-introduce a character to a different generation) but would have been daringly revisionist and experimental, like Nolan’s work on the Bat films. No such luck here. This Spiderman has a strong been there, done that vibe about it, and that’s not necessarily a good thing.

How to Watch it: Netflix /Google Play / iTunes / OSN Store

About Abdullah Y

Abdullah Y is based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He is an avid consumer of everything Pop Culture; movies, TV, music, photography, podcasts, and social media. He loves to travel and to share his experiences.