INTERVIEW

Irrfan on his ‘Qarib Qarib Singlle’ character Yogi: ‘I would like to keep him alive in other films’

Also starring Malayalam actress Parvathy, ‘Qarib Qarib Singlle’ will be released on November 10.

In Tanuja Chandra’s Qarib Qarib Singlle, Irrfan plays Yogi, a middle-aged man who takes his date, Jayashree, on a trip down memory lane. Yogi, accompanied by Jayashree, retraces his past as he meets his ex-lovers. Hilarity ensues on the road, and a new relationship blossoms.

Taking one’s girlfriend along to meet one’s exes seems like an unusual idea, but it is also a valid way to look at one’s past. “Yogi is the kind of person who does not hold any grudges,” Irrfan said about his character. “He believes in moving on. He would rather keep the best moments of his life as memories than complicate things.”

Malayalam actress Parvathy makes her Bollywood debut as Jayashree. The film will be released on November 10.

While Yogi might appear happy-go-lucky, it took months to get under his skin. “I was invested in him for months, and the way he shaped up, I wouldn’t want him to die after that,” Irrfan said. “I would like to keep him alive and carry him in other films as well.”

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Qarib Qarib Singlle.

Irrfan was also curious about what audiences will make of the title Qarib Qarib Singlle, which translates to almost single. “It is a particular stage in a relationship,” Irrfan said, “Today, people are exploring relationships and finding new dimensions. And relationships take time to happen. Qarib Qarib Singlle refers to a point where the relationship is not mature, when you are with somebody and yet you are not with somebody.”

The story of Qarib Qarib Singlle, for the most part, unfolds during the journey undertaken by Yogi and Jayashree. Qarib Qarib Singlle joins the list of road movies that Irrfan has been a part of late: the 2015 sleeper hit Piku and his upcoming film Karwaan, co-starring Malayalam actor Dulquer Salmaan. The string of road movies have not been a conscious decision, Irrfan said. “I was just taken in by the spirit of this film. It is happy and light-hearted and has an unique kind of romance. I have not explored this kind of a story before.”

This will truly be the first romantic comedy Irrfan has headlined since his one-off attempt at back in 2005, 7 ½ Phere, in which he was cast with Juhi Chawla. That aside, he has seldom romanced or been close to romancing someone on screen. He clicked in the slice-of-life space Piku, with Deepika Padukone. His 2016 social comedy Hindi Medium was also a sleeper hit. Qarib Qarib Singlle is the first full-fledged romantic comedy in which he plays the hero.

But this might be one of the last. “After this, I am doing some serious films about serious subjects,” Irrfan said in all seriousness.

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Khatam Kahani, Qarib Qarib Singlle.
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