Imtiaz Ali Open up about collaborating with Diljit Dosanjh and AR Rahman for Chamkila


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Director-writer Imtiaz Ali who is all set to come back with a compelling biopic of Chamkila starring Diljit Dosanjh shared his experience of working with this Punjabi superstar. The story of this film revolves around Punjabi singer Amar Singh Chamkila who was killed at the age of 27 after facing lots of criticism for writing ‘vulgar’ lyrics even as his fame and fandom grew beyond Punjab and even earned the nickname of Elvis of Punjab. Apart from this Ali also talked about his fourth collaboration with Oscar-winning music composer AR Rahman, Rockstar (2011), Highway (2014), and Tamasha (2015). Let’s check out the complete details of this story.

Imtiaz Ali talked about the story behind making Amar Singh Chamkila 

Ali recently sat down for an interview with The Indian Express where he shared how he came across the concept of this film, “I came to know about Chamkila about 15 years ago while touring Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. I found that the locals would always listen to Chamkila whenever they wanted to have fun. I was intrigued by this singer who appealed to the people at the grassroots. It is a gift to be able to enjoy such mass popularity. Soon, I obviously got introduced to the events of his life. I learnt that he died at the age of 27 and that he came from a very disadvantaged background. When Punjab was burning in the ’80s, it happened to be Chmakila’s golden period. Everyone was listening to the happy songs that he was making.”

He continues, “Nearly five years ago, Harpreet Singh, who managed the rights of making a film on Chamkila’s life, came to Mumbai looking for me. Harpreet thought I would be the right person to make this film even though he didn’t know me. In the past, many had tried to make a film on him but hadn’t managed to do so because of the issues over rights.”

Moreover, talking about the controversial life of the artist he noted, “Many artistes are judged in their times for the work that they do because it does not meet the standards of society. Chamkila was subjected to a dual-faced reaction from the audience. People loved his songs but they also criticised him. That was mainly because of what he said in his songs, which were bold, controversial and licentious. People were ashamed to admit that they listened to Chamkila. So, the lyrics had to be understood by the audience”

Imtiaz added, “Chamkila’s songs were in Punjabi and our film, Amar Singh Chamkila, is in Hindi. I am expecting that those who watch our film, kind of know Hindi. But understanding Punjabi is not possible for them. My responsibility as a filmmaker is to translate that in an interesting manner. We have used this clever ‘titling’ so that as he says something in Punjabi, it is translated and conveyed to the non-Punjabi audience.”

The ‘Jab We Meet’ also shared the reason behind casting Diljit Dosanjh as the titular role, “ He is intelligent and sensitive. I wanted him to understand the character in his own way and process these notes at his own time. He knew a lot about Chamkila and like many Punjabi musicians he had also performed the latter’s songs at gatherings during his younger days.”

The director also praised the music composer of the movie legendary AR Rahman with whom he is collaborating for the second time, he noted, “ All artistes have this gift but Rahman has this overwhelming gift of subconsciously grasping what you want to talk about (in the movie). The kind of music that he plays in the movie and where he chooses to place them match exactly what I had in mind. He is not just a music director. He loves to work on the film too. He is a co-storyteller with me, especially for this film. That’s why the music never comes in the way of the narrative in Amar Singh Chamkila.”

Amar Singh Chamkila will start streaming on Netflix from April 12.

Also Read: Nikhil Advani Talked About His Upcoming Series Freedom At Midnight 

Ishita Gupta
Ishita Gupta
I'm Ms. Ishita Gupta, a professional content writer with an experience of more than two years. SEO and content creation are my specialties.


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