Imtiaz Ali Opens Up On His Journey Of Chamkila, Says It Was All So Dramatic And Inspiring

by The Technical Blogs

New Delhi: 36 years after singer Amar Singh Chamkila and his wife Amarjyot were brutally assassinated at age 27, filmmaker Imtiaz Ali reprises their life and times in “Chamkila”.

The filmmaker says the emotion with which people about this young singer and his legacy was what intrigued and drew him to learn more about “Chamkila”.

“They spoke about him as if he was their person, their OG of all time. At the end of the day, it seems they all listened to Chamkila. So I wondered who was this guy. So, I got to know about his life and everything that I got to know was extremely dramatic. The fact that he was from the lower cast, had no education and was the highest record-selling artist of all time. Everything was so dramatic and so inspiring, and yet more than anything else, I was drawn to the fact that he was grassroots. He was as desi as desi gets, and this is the real India. This is India you know, he’s not a city star nor is he the English-speaking pop artist.”

Playing the titular role is Punjab’s favourite as well as global sensation singer Diljit Dosanjh. However Imtiaz  Ali reveals that Diljit Dosanjh is the perfect fit to play Amar Singh Chamkila, but initially, he was not too sure if he would be the perfect fit.

“Casting Diljit was a no-brainer. But initially, I was under the impression it would not work out with him, so I was meeting other actors. Until we finally reached out to Diljit.  He told us wholeheartedly that he felt he was the biggest fan of Chamkila ever. Also, Diljit understands Chamkila’s dialect, knows about the man, and also understands the nuances of Punjabi music. Everything just fell into place after. When you watch the film, you realise it could not have been made without Diljit.”

Amar Singh Chamkila was gunned down in 1988, the 80s were a turbulent time for Punjab. His songs were seen as beacons of hope during the dark times.

“Chamkila never spoke about anything political. He was criticized for the fact that why was he not addressing what is happening, as Punjab burns, your songs are about happiness and lust. He was just devoted to the cause of making music for his audience that would bring them some relief in a time that was so dark. He was a man who never saw himself as a star, nor did his popularity impact him. His humility was endearing,” says Imtiaz Ali. 

Chamkila premiers on 12th April on Netflix. 

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