Thursday, July 18, 2024

Amar Singh Chamkila: Another gem by Imtiaz Ali?

Nupur Jha 

Amar Singh Chamkila is a biographical drama based on the life of musician Amar Singh Chamkila. The movie premiered in Mumbai on 8 April 2024 and was later released on Netflix on 12 April 2024. It is directed and co-written by Imtiaz Ali, starring Diljit Dosanjh and Parineeti Chopra as leads. The film music was written by Irshad Kamil and composed by A.R Rahman.

Well, Fans had been waiting for quite some time for Imtiaz Ali’s film on the popular Punjabi folk singer who was shot dead at the age of 27 in 1988. But was he able to make a biopic that stood out through its extraordinary storytelling without boring or whitewashing the character? Spoiler alert: He certainly did!

Let’s explore the good and the bad. Will this be another masterpiece that Imtiaz Ali fans will treasure in the future?

Story, Character & Music

Amar Singh Chamkila starts with a beautiful introduction, combining the story with Imtiaz Ali’s style of narration. The film states the origin of Amar Singh Chamkila, who works in a sock-making factory but dreams of becoming a singer as the only ticket to get out of his life of poverty. His music is inspired by what he sees around him, i.e. misogyny, adultery, abuse, violence, and addiction. Without any filter to make his music fit into society, the singer made his way to stand out from the rest with his partner Amarjot Kaur.

Dilijit Dosanjh, as Chamkila, brings the character to life on screen. Through his strong control of language, authenticity, body language, and voice, the actor fits naturally in the role. Parineeti shines as a subtle character, supporting Chamkila in his fight against society and people who love and hate him.

The supporting actors definitely did amazing work in the film. Instead of giving us a linear storyline, Imtiaz let his characters tell the story of Chamkila. Rahul Mittra and Anjum Batra are standout supporting characters who play pivotal roles in driving the narrative forward and keeping the audience engaged throughout the journey.

Imtiaz Ali understands how crucial music is for storytelling. From some of the soulful tracks to hauntingly beautiful music, he added a deeper connection to Chamkila’s journey.

Is the movie a masterpiece? 

With the film, Imtiaz Ali made a comeback after four years. He didn’t disappoint his fans, and it highlights his storytelling prowess and undeniable magic. Through Chamkila’s character, Ali delves into themes of double standards, class, privilege, and morality, questioning societal beliefs that are formed without knowing the context behind a person’s decisions.

The storyline seamlessly integrates Punjab’s culture, its people, and the tumultuous 80s era marked by chaos and violence. Despite a slight dip in Chamkila’s narrative, Imtiaz Ali ensures it remains engaging throughout.

Chamkila chronicles the singer’s meteoric rise to fame and bold decisions and the movie neither sugar-coats nor condemns his mistakes. The character isn’t portrayed as entirely virtuous; he has his flaws, yet he defies society’s narrow judgments.

Chamkila is someone society couldn’t ignore nor fully embrace. His voice resonates with many while also drawing criticism from others. Nevertheless, Chamkila managed to emerge as a legendary figure despite his controversial life.

Fans of Imtiaz Ali shouldn’t miss this film at any cost; it’s truly a treat. It raises important questions and, with brilliant acting and storytelling, stands as another gem from the director.

Rating: 8/10

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