Two months after the release of Irrfan Khan's latest international film Darjeeling Limited, which was shot in India, the verdict is out.
In a brief role, the fast-rising Indian actor has beaten his well-known co-stars, namely Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman and Adrien Brody who play brothers. While the reviews have largely panned the film and performances, Irrfan has been singled out for praise.
"There's only one performance that rings true in this shambolic odyssey. It's incidental and it's played by Irrfan Khan," wrote the London Times reviewer.
But the downsized part could be a downer for the actor's fans. The international audience which warmed up to Irrfan's scintillating performance in Mira Nair's The Namesake and Michael Winterbottom's A Mighty Heart, are disappointed by the length of his role in British director Wes Anderson's Darjeeling Limited, a comedy on brotherly bonding.
Believe it or faint, but Irrfan, who now wants to do only centralised characters, has a walk-on part.
Irrfan, currently shooting dangerous stunts for Neeraj Pandey's Black or White, is unfazed.
"Yes, the role in Darjeeling Limited is small. But it's a very decisive moment in the script and the critics have loved my work."
In fact, British critic James Christopher from the Times has singled out only Irrfan for praise in what he calls a disappointing comedy.
"Yes, that felt good," Irrfan grinned about the critical approval.
"Even an actor of Bill Murray's stature has a walk-on part in Darjeeling Limited. So, I see no reason for audiences or me to feel let down. I did it with my eyes open. I wanted to work with director Wes Anderson ever since I saw his earlier comedy 'Rushmore'. And do you know? He wrote the role specially for me."
Irrfan sure has come a long way.
"I don't know about that," he shrugged. "For me, international recognition isn't a be-all. I'm currently shooting with Sunny Deol and it's a dream-come-true for me to be working with him."