By RAHUL RAUT

In a year when most of the big and highly anticipated films failed to show any magic at the box office, Irrfan Khan’s comedy-drama ‘Hindi Medium’ performed like a fire at ticket windows and stood out like a beacon of light during the crisis period. Now the actor known for delivering outstanding performance in films is gearing up for next release, ‘Doob: No Bed of Roses’ which is an English-Bengali bilingual and also Irrfan’s co-production.

This film about love and loss was earlier banned in Bangladesh as it was said that a part of the film resembles a period of Bangladeshi writer and filmmaker Humayun Ahmed. However, the ban has now been lifted and it is all set to hit theatres on October 27 in India, US, Canada, Australia and Bangladesh.

In this film, Irrfan plays a character who gets married for a second time to a woman who’s years younger and was once his daughter’s friend. Directed by Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, this film’s story builds up around the members of two families discovering the finer fabric of love when the headman of a family dies. The theme of the film is that death doesn’t always take things away, sometimes it gives back.

Just after two weeks of ‘Doob: No Bed of Roses’, Irrfan’s yet another film, ‘Qarib Qarib Singlle’ will release. The film which opens in UK cinemas on 10th of November is an unconventional and quirky love story of two distinctly opposite personalities who embark upon an unusual journey which ends of being an adventurous one. Irrfan plays a jovial guy who is loud, likes to crack jokes and has a rustic charm that he is liked by even his ex-girlfriends. He is once again showing his quirky side acing his immaculate comic timing with this laughter riot.

After ‘Qarib Qarib Singlle’ which is also his last release for 2017, Irrfan will be back with his unusual and quirky outings next year as well. He has some very interesting projects that are already creating high curiosity owing to their unique content. He will begin 2018 with Ronnie Screwvala’s ‘Kaarwan’ which he has been filming with Malayalam actor Dulquer Salmaan, Mithila Palkar and Amla. The film is expected to release in the first quarter of 2018.

‘Kaarwan’ tells the tale of three characters from different walks of life, who are thrown together on a somewhat bizarre journey that helps them find normalcy in their lives. Irrfan essays the character of a conservative yet quirky, simple and opinionated lover of Urdu poetry in this fun movie.

Post this, Irrfan also has Abhinay Deo’s ‘Raita’ which is currently in post-production stage. Produced by T-Series and RDP Motion Pictures, this film is said to be a Mumbai-centric quirky comedy based on similar lines of ‘Delhi Belly’.

In this situational comedy, Irrfan portrays a married man stuck in a monotonous nine-to-five job and an unexciting life till he finds out that his wife, played by Kirti Kulhari, is having an affair. He decides to blackmail her and has some fun along the way as the whodunit-blame game turns into a hilarious rollercoaster. Although the release date for ‘Raita’ hasn’t been announced yet, it’s expected to release in mid-2018.

However, Irrfan’s most talked-about film for 2018 is going to be Vishal Bhardwaj’s next production which will be directed by Vishal’s assistant Honey Trehan. The yet-untitled film which is said to be based on journalist S Hussain Zaidi’s book “Mafia Queens Of Mumbai” will have Irrfan playing a local gangster along with Deepika Padukone with whom he is collaborating for the second time post Shoojit Sircar’s ‘Piku’. The shooting of this film will begin in March and release on October 2nd, 2018.

If all goes well, Irrfan may also begin the shooting for the sequel of his this year’s satirical comedy, ‘Hindi Medium’. Producer Dinesh Vijan could be announcing the sequel soon. Talking about the possibility of ‘Hindi Medium 2’, Irrfan had recently said, “I’d be happy to be a part of it. My only condition is that we should not encash on its success but get a plot that is better than the first and will take the franchise forward with an equally relevant issue.”

Besides the Hindi releases, Irrfan also has some International projects that might see the release next year. Anup Singh’s ‘The Song of Scorpions’ is a story of twisted love, revenge and the redemptive power of a song. It was premiered in Switzerland at the Locarno Film Festival in August and recently at MAMI 19th Mumbai Film Festival and received tremendous response from audiences. In this film which is set in local Rajasthan (India), Irrfan plays a cattle trader while Iranian Beauty Golshifteh Farahani plays his wife who can cure any pain like snake bites or labour pains through her music.

Marc Turtletaub’s ‘Puzzle’ is yet another Hollywood film Irrfan will be seen starring in next year. The actor who has been a part of films like ‘Life of Pi’, ‘The Amazing Spiderman’, ‘Inferno’ and ‘Jurassic World’, will be seen along with Kelly Macdonald and David Denman in this coming-of-age story of a woman.

‘Puzzle’ centers on a fortysomething suburban mother whose world is consumed with caring for the men in her family. When she discovers she has a gift for assembling puzzles, her world begins to open and her entire family is forced to adjust and grow as well.