Book Reviews

Irrfan Khan: The Man, The Dreamer, The Star by Aseem Chhabra – Book Review

  • Author: Aseem Chhabra
  • Genre: Biographies/ Non-fiction
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Rupa Publications India (5 January 2020)
  • Language: English


I am not a movie buff. In fact, the last movie I watched was Gully Boy a year ago. That’s how distant I am with the culture of cinema. Honestly, I haven’t even taken notice of Irrfan Khan as an actor. I have heard people praising him but I haven’t given a chance to me to explore his screen presence. And yet, this book in the focus grabbed my attention to read it, cover to cover.

Irrfan Khan: The Man, The Dreamer, The Star by Aseem Chhabra captures the career growth of one of the finest actors who has left an indelible mark both in Indian as well as global cinema. It truly gave me immense pleasure to dig into his life and get valuable chunks of information surrounding this man of humility. I believe that a man who lives, day in and day out, with a dream definitely succeeds. Irrfan Khan proved this to me 🙂

Right from his early days in Jaipur to joining NSD, Delhi, Irrfan never let go of his ambitions. He waited, persisted, and eventually landed into a place he desired forever. And even after foraying into glam and glitz of the Bollywood, he kept his humanity and simplicity intact. Throughout the book, the author Aseem has narrated the incidents people shared with recounting their encounters with Irrfan. It was pleasant to read about how Irrfan gave his all to his art, how his arresting eyes said a lot more than words, how passionate he was toward his career, and even more committed to his work ethics. The book traces his journey in the theatre, television, Bollywood and then, Hollywood. It was an amazing experience to get to know this star so closely.

The book covers some of his finest performances in a detailed manner. The author’s research is visible in the way the book brings out the personality Irrfan is. I am more drawn toward watching his movies now especially The Namesake as this book talks it beautifully.

The author’s play with words made it possible for me to traverse through a pool of factual content. The narrative, though was descriptive, yet didn’t give me a dull moment. I guess everyone, regardless of one’s interest in movies, would enjoy reading about Irrfan. Although I would have liked the book more if I could get a clearer glimpse of Irrfan’s personal life nevertheless, this one did take e through his professional life wonderfully.



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