Irrfan Khan bid goodbye to the world at 53, just over a month after the release of his last film Angrezi Medium. The actor had taken a break from work to undergo treatment for endocrine tumour and had even returned to complete the shooting of the film post recovery. However, his health worsened again which forced the actor to skip the promotions.
But look at the charisma of the remarkable talent, just one social media post by the actor was enough to get the entire Bollywood to fill in for his absence. A host of Bollywood actors from Katrina Kaif, Alia Bhatt, Anushka Sharma, Janhvi Kapoor to Kriti Sanon had featured in a special dance number Kudi Nu Nachne De for the film.
Deepak Dobriyal and Irrfan Khan in a still from Angrezi Medium.
Returning to the silver screen after a long illness, Irrfan earned kudos for his performance in the role of Champak Bansal, a sweet shop owner in Udaipur. He played a doting father to Radhika Madan’s Tarika who was harbouring the dreams of flying off to London.
The Hindustan Times review of the film read, “Irrfan is pitch-perfect in every frame. His dialogues strike an instant chord with you, his eyes talk to you, his smile and tears make you laugh and cry with him. Angrezi Medium makes you realize that he was missed by the audiences as much as he would have missed facing the camera. It’s largely known that Irrfan shot for Angrezi Medium while he was still undergoing treatment, but not for once you can make that out while watching him onscreen.”
Irrfan Khan and Homi Adajania on sets of Angrezi Medium.
Exactly a year ago, director Homi Adajania had announced his comeback for the film with a happy picture from one of their laughing sessions. He had captioned the pic, “Life is better when you’re laughing.”
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Homi also wrote a note for Irrfan post the completion of the shoot which was put on hold by the director who chose to wait for him regardless of the time he took to heal. He wrote, “I wanted to do this film knowing it would be against the odds. I wanted to do it for all the wrong reasons to make a film but they just seemed so right and still do. It’s been an emotional roller coaster more than anything else and I know how hard it’s been for everyone. Irrfan Khan, you are incredible … and you’re a decent actor as well. I love you more than I know how to say. Thank you to my crew and cast for not letting the odds stack up against us. I truly believe that our collective positivity and celebration of life allowed us this. Regardless of this film’s fate, it’s shown me a lighter way of being and I’ll always cherish this.”
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Manu Rishi Chadha, who got an opportunity to share screen space with Irrfan Khan in one scene, had told Hindustan Times in an interview, “I complained to Homi Adajania why he didn’t call me for Angrezi Medium. He asked me to come over for a guest appearance so that we could at least start our collaboration. The scene was with Irrfan Khan. I was to hug him and was so happy to do it as he came after a long illness.”
Commenting on Irrfan’s absence due to ill health, he had said, “When you deal with such a big issue, you want to take time out for yourself. He has worked so much that he continues to be in minds and hearts of his fans.”
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While the actor’s blooming career was cut short by his untimely death, his dialogue from the film “Aadmi ka sapna toot jaata hai na, toh aadmi khatam ho jaata hai” will be etched in the hearts of his fans across the globe. The dream of his fans to watch him time and again in one after another blockbuster now remains unfulfilled.
Look at the fate of the film, Angrezi Medium had released on March 13 at an opening of around Rs 4.03 crore but had to wrap up at just Rs 9.36 crore as movie theatres pulled down their shutters ahead of a countrywide lockdown due to coronavirus outbreak.
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