Irrfan Khan's role in Slumdog Millionaire has been seriously chopped off. Apparently a lot of his footage had to be deleted for the sake of a tightly bound narrative.
Irrfan, who plays the cop interrogating the young hero to know how he knows all the answers on the game-show, is surprisingly candid on the cutting down of his characterization. "I saw how much my role was edited when I was dubbing for the Hindi version. My role especially in the second-half has been drastically reduced. But I'm not complaining. Just look at the impact the film has made. I'm so proud to be a part of it.", says the talented actor
Shedding light on his role's radical reduction Irrfan says, "In the second-half my character goes through this complete redemptive graph which has been removed. After brutally interrogating the boy my character of the police officer personally takes him back to the game show when he gets to know that the boy did it for love. That entire track has been removed. But that's okay. Roles are often reduced for the betterment of the film. This isn't the first time this has happened to me. Actors must stop being possessive about what they shoot."
Irrfan was recently in Jaipur visiting his mother and that is the reason why he wasn't at the Golden Globe ceremony. "Of course I was invited. But I had made plans to spend time with my mother long time back. If I missed this chance, I'd not have been able to visit her again for a very long time. I'd rather fly kites in my mother's home than blow kisses in LA. I'm not new to international events. I've been through them with films like The Namesake, Warrior and A Mighty Heart."
Irrfan is also unperturbed by the charge of Slumdog Millionaire selling Mumbai's misery to the West. "It's the reality. Why should it be swept under the carpet? Why should Danny Boyle have been concerned about what image of Mumbai goes out when we've done nothing to keep our own city morally and physically clean? Danny saw a good dramatic story on Mumbai. He came and shot that story. As far as the filth goes, we're a dead and dying society, and the sooner we face up to it the better our chances of redeeming ourselves. Look at the Satyam scandal. Can you imagine how many working-class families have been ruined because of the avarice of top brass at the company? And I'm sure there're many other companies just waiting to do a similar con job on us. Now if tomorrow another foreign filmmaker comes to do an expose on Satyam, are we going to call him exploitative?"
Irrfan is now looking forward to gauging the response to the Hindi dubbed version of Slumdog Millionaire. "I'm sure the Hindi version will be liked. It's the English version I'm apprehensive about. The intelligentsia will ask questions about the hero from the Mumbai slums speaking fluent English. The Hindi viewers will just have a good time." ,signs off the versatile actor.