Whenever you watched Irrfan on screen doing what he did best, acting but in “as if being himself” a feeling of something which you could not describe hit the gut, twenty movies or more and I still can’t figure out what that feel comprehends! Maybe it was one of being pulled into the moment that Irrfan was enacting on screen or maybe it was just the magic of this person who being an actor was the least dramatic of it all.
Everyone said he was the best actor, a great and versatile one at that, I don’t disagree, he was one I suppose with all the films that he had done and carried on his frail shoulders. Still I feel it was less of acting and more of being himself, an involvement in the role he depicted and with an ability to also pull you into that involvement of the perfect imperfections of his characters that made him what he was and will be forever!
A man who is sexually adventurous ready to share the dishonest equations in the man woman relationship, Irrfan as a cocky philanderer Samit in the adult sex comedy “Dil Kabaddi” or the modern day Sudama- a poor barber Pardesi living in a quiet village of “Billu Barber” or even the hard bitten policeman with a fistful of entertaining dialogues as the cop in “Jazbaa” who lets the ravishing Aishwarya walk away since it’s “mohabbat, zidd hoti toh bhaho mein hoti” or the practical cool headed made in America bengali the Ashoke Ganguli of “The Namesake” to being a man hopelessly in love with his past while living with acceptance of the present – Javed of “Doob – No Bed of Roses” and then switching onto becoming an accountant who can love without any reason – Arun the CA in “Yeh Saali Zindagi” or an Indian father in a Hollywood film “The Darjeeling Limited” a short but a critically acclaimed role. Irrfan Khan could be just what he wanted without much theatrics, his acting was just so “cool” that even though he appeared almost the same in all his movies yet each role became him instead of he becoming the role.
The same ruffled hair, crooked smirk on his lips, a perpetual loosened shrug of his shoulders, a half smile and Irrfan would transform into maybe a cleanliness freak with OCD – the Mukhejee from Krazzy 4 and with some grumpy liasons into a recluse standoffish misanthrope of “The Lunch Box” – Sajjan Fernandez looking for love in the dabba. The same stance, same postures and poof you have with you the effusive garrulous small time poet Yogi from “Qarib Qarib Single” and then you also have the socially inept and straightforward Monty – “Life in a Metro”
Irrfan needed just words and dialogues and he could become the role for you, he did not change his appearance much, nor did he work on the make up or the get up, nuances were enough for him to bring the role alive – a perfect role that Irrfan enacted with not many scenes or his screen presence is that of the enigmatic bullshitter as the adult version of Pi in the “Life of Pi!”
Irrfan Khan was just Irrfan Khan – He made us believe that he was all these and many more! A perfect imperfection of an actor!