I need to see a film where the woman is not competing with the man: Irrfan Khan


He is one of the biggest names when it comes to Indians working in international films, with blockbusters like Jurassic World and Life of Pi to his credit. He commands a lot of respect in domestic circles too, with one National and three Filmfare awards in his kitty. And yet, Irrfan Khan is perhaps the most secure actor when it comes to sharing his ‘heroism’ onscreen with actors of the other gender.
Even today, not many ‘stars’ would be willing to work in a film where the story centres around the female lead. Irrfan, however, hails from a different school of thought. Take Piku, for instance, which focusses mostly on Deepika’s character. Though Irrfan’s character brings an outsider’s perspective to the story, it does little to push him into the limelight.
Speaking on how the sexes are represented in our films, the Padma Shri awardee told Hindustan Times, “We have a long way to go as far as female characters and women-oriented films are concerned. But, at least now, we have more rounded characters that encompass all the dimensions of a woman.”
“I need to see a film where a woman is not competing with the man. I don’t see any reason for a competition because the two genders have their own peculiarities, their own specialities, and they cannot be compared. They (men and women) are incomplete without each other. A woman who is celebrating her womanhood is the most beautiful thing - when she is not in a complex and she is not being suppressed because she is a woman. When she knows the strengths and beauty of being a woman,” he added.
“I don’t see much of that in cinema,” the actor lamented. “I would love to see that, though.”
With the release of Qarib Qarib Singlle, Irrfan has now headlined three films that fall in the romance category. When asked if he has decided to take up romantic films because they are popular, he said, “Actually, planning has never worked for me. Each time I start planning something, I end up failing miserably. So it is not any well-thought-out strategy under which I pick these films.”
“People tell me I am now featuring in romantic roles. But I believe if I am stuck in any one kind of role, I will be done as an artist. That is a problem with our industry - if an actor finds his zone, filmmakers want him to stick to the genre. I don’t want that for me, because that would mean my retirement. i cannot fit myself into a comfortable zone. Most probably, I will soon surprise you with a film that is completely different from what I have been doing lately,” he added.
When asked about the quality of films being made in India, Irrfan put the onus on the audience. “Cinema has never been a mirror to society, except till the 60s. After that, there were stories but they were not in the popular zone. Our cinema has evolved from Parsi theatre, and that is melodrama. I hope cinema starts reflecting society, and the audience pressurises filmmakers to do that. They should stop watching cinematic fluff that do not provide any reflection of the society.” However,. Irrfan expressed hopes that the current generation of filmmakers will bring a change for better. “The kind of cinema the new generation is making today is closer to our life,” he said.

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