Amitabh Bachchan Remembers Irrfan Khan
Two years ago, on April 29, 2020, the great and well-respected actor Irrfan Khan passed away at the age of 61. In the wake of his death, moviegoers around the world were deeply affected. Because of his talent, outstanding performances, and versatility, he was adored by everyone who saw him on the big screen. Consequently, the entire planet felt a sense of loss after his departure to the hereafter.
Irrfan: Dialogues With The Wind was released earlier this year, a book on Irrfan Khan. Director Anup Singh, who directed Irrfan in Qissa (2015) and The Song Of The Scorpions, wrote the book. . These two films were directed by a single person, and this book tells the story of how they came to work together. Amitabh Bachchan has written the foreword of the book, and it's worth a read.
First up are some remarkable words from Irrfan Khan's foreword: “Irrfan Khan. The intensity. The responsibility of the intensity. The silent righteousness of the responsibility. The eloquent eyes of his silent righteousness. If I were to present an actor whose mere appearance could speak its mind with sophisticated elegance, I’d instantly point to Irrfan Khan.”
Bachchan added that Irrfan Khan didn't require a script or dialogues to improve a scene, and that his simple presence would do the job. Slumdog Millionaire (2009), The Lunchbox (2013), Hindi Medium (2017), Maqbool (2004), Paan Singh Tomar (2012), and Piku (2017) are just a handful of Big B's standout performances (2015).
After seven years, Amitabh Bachchan spoke about a moment from Piku, in which he collaborated alongside Irrfan Khan, that showed Khan was a class apart. According to Amitabh Bachchan's narration, Rana Chaudhary, played by actor Irrfan Khan, shows up at the home of Piku (Deepak Padukone) and Bhaskor Banerjee (Amitabh Bachchan) in his automobile, offering to drive the couple to Kolkata from their current location in Delhi. As the proprietor of an automobile rental agency, Rana is forced to take on the Banerjees' road trip after his drivers refuse to join them.
Everyone gets in the car and sits down. Bhaskor's maid is sitting in the front while Piku and Bhaskor are sitting in the back is obvious to Rana. In the beginning, Rana looks at the maid and then the daughter and her father. Piku asks the housekeeper to trade places with him right now. It was a light-hearted sequence that drew giggles from moviegoers.
Amitabh Bachchan then went on about how Irrfan only needed a look to convey a whole paragraph of dialogue. Instead of saying “Excuse me; I am the owner of this company, not your employed driver. I am doing you a favour by volunteering to drive you. Respectfully, shouldn’t one of you be in the seat next to me rather than the house help?”, Irrfan simply gave a look and thus “conveyed an entire paragraph of dialoguesin those magical few seconds ”. He also stated that it was “brilliance beyond words”.
Amitabh conveyed his sorrow at Irrfan's sudden loss in the closing moments. “Irrfan was taken away from us too soon. A promising life was snapped by death before its time. He had been giving to life far more than what he was getting back in return. And he had so much more in reserve. Yet, death decided otherwise.”