Five Most Empowering Roles Played By Irrfan Khan

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Actor Irrfan Khan passed away today at the age of 54. He had been admitted to a hospital in Mumbai due to a colon infection. A stellar actor, who left his mark both in Bollywood and Hollywood, Irrfan will be remembered for his memorable performance and distinct style of acting. In his career spanning more than 30 years, Irrfan has done several critically acclaimed roles. But he will also be fondly remembered for bringing to life some of the most empowering men on the silver screen. Men who let women be, men who were supportive husbands, endearing fathers and liberating companions. So here’s looking at some of the most empowering roles of the actor.

Also Read: Irrfan Khan Dies at 54, He Went Too Soon. Leaves Behind Memorable Films

Ashoke Ganguli (The Namesake)

In Mira Nair’s The Namesake, Irrfan played the role of Ashoke, a first-generation Bengali US immigrant. While a stringent father, Ashoke is a loving husband. He helps is his new bride Ashima adjust to the ways of a new country. He even takes charge of his firstborn, when his wife is pregnant for the second time. Ashoke’s relationship with Ashima is so tender, it is endearing to watch the two on-screen. Irrfan’s chemistry with Tabu in the film remains one of those on-screen relationships who aren’t given the due and recognition that they deserve.

Rana Chaudhary (Piku)

The film starring Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, and Irrfan focuses on the relationship of an independent daughter with her health-obsessed, querulous father. The film beautifully shows love, dependence, care, responsibilities, and little fights in a parent and child relationship. It implicitly challenges the notion that independent girls don’t prioritize their families. Irrfan plays the role of Rana Chaudhary, owner of a taxi business. The character without any unnecessary heroism brings the daughter and father closer without diverting the focus from the female lead. What’s more, Rana even encourages Piku to overcome her inhibitions. He motivates her to drive in a scene, telling her that driving liberates a woman.

Champak (Angrezi Medium)

The film that also stars Radhika Madan is an endearing tale about a father’s love for his daughter. Champak’s daughter has been dreaming of studying abroad ever since she was a little girl. So Angrezi Medium captures the journey of a doting dad, who is also a single parent, who can go to any length to help his daughter realise this dream. But in this process, Champak also realises that his daughter is no longer a little girl, but a young woman, who is perfectly capable of taking care of herself on her own.

Yogi (Qarib Qarib Singlle)

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The film starring Parvathy and Irrfan takes a detour from the usual love stories shown on screens. Parvathy’s Jaya is a confident and independent girl with a stable job and a good social life who isn’t incomplete with a man in her life. But Jaya does seek the comfort of love, struggling to let go of her feelings for her deceased husband. Irrfan’s Yogi, on the other hand, is jolly and carefree, and just as in Piku, he doesn’t take control of Jaya’s journey to rediscover herself but merely aids it. Goofy and prone to messing up Yogi is the kind of guy you may not want to date but will love to have in your life for sure.

Also Read: Women-Centric Patriotic Movies That Give Us Goosebumps!

Saajan Fernandes (The Lunchbox)


This unconventional love story is about Ila, married young woman and a mother of a child, and Saajan, a widower close to retirement. In order to win back the love of her husband Ila starts sending delectable meals in the lunchbox to her husband, which end up on Saajan’sdesk does triggering a conversation through letters between the two. Despite a generation gap, there is a connection between the two, which thrives even though they haven’t met each other. When Ila discovers that her husband is cheating on her, she finds strength and support in Saajan to move on and start her life afresh. This a film, with its ending open to interpretation will leave you feeling bittersweet.

Saumya Tiwari is an intern with SheThePeople.TV