Imtiaz Ali explores Punjab’s colourful tapestry with singer Chamkila’s biopic - Hindustan Times
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Imtiaz Ali explores Punjab’s colourful tapestry with singer Chamkila’s biopic

By, Chandigarh
Feb 25, 2024 09:52 AM IST

His upcoming film, “Chamkila”, explores the life of the iconic but controversial singer, capturing the vibrant highs and tragic lows that mirror Punjab’s own journey; the film aims to unveil the colour and complexity of the state, echoing the vivacious spirit of its people

Acclaimed filmmaker Imtiaz Ali shared insights into his next project, a biopic on the legendary slain Punjabi singer Amar Singh Chamkila on Saturday.

Frequently visiting Punjab for film shoots, Imtiaz Ali marvelled at the state’s resilience, particularly in the context of its historical challenges. (HT Photo)
Frequently visiting Punjab for film shoots, Imtiaz Ali marvelled at the state’s resilience, particularly in the context of its historical challenges. (HT Photo)

Frequently visiting Punjab for film shoots, Ali marvelled at the state’s resilience, particularly in the context of its historical challenges.

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Speaking at the “Chitkara Lit Fest 2024”, Imtiaz expressed his connection with Punjab and its dynamic cultural landscape. His upcoming film, “Chamkila”, explores the life of the iconic but controversial singer, capturing the vibrant highs and tragic lows that mirror Punjab’s own journey. The film aims to unveil the colour and complexity of the state, echoing the vivacious spirit of its people.

Ali highlighted Punjab’s enduring beauty, vibrant culture and rich heritage, emphasising the need to preserve its unique identity. He commended the loud and spirited nature of Punjabi people, urging them not to let go of their brilliance. Despite past tragedies, Ali sees Punjab as a land of strength and urged its people to embrace and preserve the essence of their culture.

Chamkila, born into poverty in 1960, emerged as one of Punjab’s most beloved singers, known for his candid lyrics depicting village life, relationships and societal realities. His popularity soared with hits like “Takue te Takua” and he eventually adopted the stage name Amar Singh Chamkila, meaning “shiny” in Punjabi. Tragically, in 1988, at the peak of his fame, Chamkila was assassinated at the age of 27.

The biopic features Punjabi sensation Diljit Dosanjh in the lead role, with Parineeti Chopra portraying Amarjot Kaur, his singing partner and life companion. Ali is collaborating once again with acclaimed musician AR Rahman, who will compose the film’s score and soundtrack.

The biopic, backed by Netflix, is slated for a global release in 2024. Ali’s creative vision, coupled with the musical prowess of Diljit Dosanjh and AR Rahman, promises to bring Chamkila’s legacy to a broader, international audience, ensuring that the vibrancy and tragedy of Punjab’s cultural tapestry resonate worldwide.

Refraining from divulging intricate details about the film, Ali left much to the anticipation of the audience.

Sporting a jacket from the film “Rockstar,” previously worn by actor Ranbir Kapoor, Ali said it had become a personal favourite. He recounted receiving the jacket from his team on a chilly day and how it has been with him ever since, earning a special place in his wardrobe despite showing signs of wear.

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