Two months after the release of Irrfan Khan's latest international film Darjeeling Limited which was shot in India, the verdict is out. In a brief role, the fast-rising Indian actor has beaten his well-known co-stars namely Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman and Adrien Brody who play brothers.
While the reviews have largely panned the film and performances, Irrfan has been singled out for praise. Says the London Times reviewer, "There's only one performance that rings true in this shambolic odyssey. It's incidental and it's played by...Irrfan Khan." But the downsized part could be a downer for the actor's fans. The international audience which warmed up to Irrfan's scintillating performance in Mira Nair's The Namesake and Michael Winterbottom's A Mighty Heart, are disappointed by the length of Irrfan's role in his new international film, the British director Wes Anderson's just released comedy Darjeeling Limited on brotherly bonding.
Believe it or faint, but Irrfan who now wants to do only centralized characters, has a walk-on part .How come? Irrfan currently shooting dangerous stunts for Neeraj Pandey's Black Or White, is unfazed. "Yes, the role in Darjeeling Limited is small. But it's a very decisive moment in the script and the critics have loved my work." In fact, the British critic James Christopher from The Times has singled out only Irrfan for praise in what he calls a dissapopinting comedy. "Yes, that felt good," Irrfan grins about the critical approval. "Even an actor of Bill Murray's stature has a walk-on part in Darjeeling Limited. So I see no reason for audiences or me to feel let down. I did it with my eyes open. I wanted to work with director Wes Anderson ever since I saw his earlier comedy Rushmore. And do you know? He wrote the role especially for me."
Irrfan sure has come a long way. "I don't know about that," he shrugs. "For me international recognition isn't a be-all. I'm currently shooting with Sunny Deol and it's a dream-come-true for me to be working with him."