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Smile. He's on camera

IMAGE CHANGE Irrfan Khan has some comedies lined up

IMAGE CHANGE Irrfan Khan has some comedies lined up  

Irrfan Khan makes an attempt at comedy in the film Saade Saath Phere

Okay, when did you last see Irrfan Khan having a belly laugh? Or even smiling? Or making you laugh? Many of you may dimly recall him smiling in his last film Rog or in a scene in Pratha in which he plays a sadhu who whispers in a thug's ear, "Aiktho paraivate (private) baat karni hai."

You might call these as one-off attempts at an image change, from a tough, serious guy to a more humane person, with subtle shades of humour with which he makes you giggle. But it is now time to take his comedy seriously. Especially with Sade Saath Phere opposite Juhi Chawla now showing.

Though Irrfan says this was "not a conscious effort" for an image makeover but yes, such roles come as breathers.

"This is more of a situational comedy than one-liner comedy. It is about a TV channel which wants to make a reality show for which they choose a family in which a marriage is going to happen. Some people in the family don't like the idea and some want to draw mileage out of it. I play a member (Manoj) of the family who tries to help the director (played by Juhi Chawla) of the show and in the process, he also woos her. Besides the rosy picture of a marriage home, it is also about `behind the curtain' family politics and intrigues," he explains.

And like many other actors, he insists comedy is much more difficult to execute. "It is because there is nothing you can fall back on if you have committed a mistake. So one has to be really tricky in it." And to play Manoj, Irrfan "remained honest to the script and didn't attempt anything" on his own.

A comedy, states Irrfan, may have him but maybe not movies in which he has to romance around trees. "If I will have to run around trees, I will run in my own way, my own style. No, I may not run, instead I will ride a bike to the running," he says, smiling, surprisingly.

His attempt at comedy "with a difference" doesn't end with this film. He has Dubai Return, Chocolate and Naseeruddin Shah's Yu Hota to Kya Hota for more such shades. Meera Nair's Namesake is a different role though.

"Dubai Return is a complete entertainer. We have the habit of making films on achievers. It is about losers but endearing ones. In this film, I play a loser who wants to be a killer to gain some respect in society but he doesn't have the guts to kill," explains Irrfan.

And in Chocolate, he plays one of the members of an aspiring music band, which gets into shady dealings. It is about how their lives take a turn after they land up in a murky world."

RANA SIDDIQUI

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