When Irrfan said his character will be remembered like Gabbar Singh!

Mumbai: Actor Irrfan Khan believed his character of Ranvijay Singh in 2003’s “Haasil” would go on to become as iconic as Amjad Khan’s villain Gabbar Singh from the cult classic “Sholay”, director of the movie and his longtime friend Tigmanshu Dhulia has revealed.

The role of Ranvijay, a student leader with negative overtones, proved to be a breakthrough for the actor who was then trying to make a mark in the field of cinema and made him a darling in the Hindi heartland.

Set in a university in Allahabad, “Haasil” revolves around two gangs in a college which are out to finish each other. 

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One gang is headed by college veteran and students union president Gauri Shankar (Ashutosh Rana), the other an aspiring politician Ranvijay Singh (Khan). 

Aniruddh (Jimmy Shergill), a law-abiding college student, falls in love with Niharika (Hrishitaa Bhatt) and gets caught up in college politics and crime and must fight it out for himself when his friend becomes his foe.

Sharing an anecdote from the “Haasil” days on the 18th anniversary of the film on Sunday, Dhulia said Irrfan Khan was certain that his portrayal of the cunning and ambitious Ranvijay will be as memorable as as Gabbar.

Even though the two characters were unlike each other, the director said, Irrfan Khan will always be remembered. 

“Haasil…16th of May the film did wonders for us I remember doing the background score and irfan dropped in we were working on the climax he saw it said this villain will be remembered like Gabbar Singh…well the villain was unlike Gabbar but yes Irfan will always be remembered,” Dhulia wrote in a tweet. 

For his performance in “Haasil”, Irrfan Khan won the Filmfare award for best actor in a negative role. 

Dhulia and Irrfan Khan first met at the National School of Drama (NSD) in the 1980s, which was just the beginning of their long-standing association, both onscreen and offscreen.

The two formed a solid cinematic partnership, working in acclaimed films like 2010’s “Paan Singh Tomar”, for which Irrfan Khan won the best actor National Award, and “Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns” (2013).

Irrfan Khan died on April 29 last year following a two-year-long battle with a neuroendocrine tumour.

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