Sunday, May 19, 2024

Chamkila Movie Review: Truly Diljit Dosanjh’s Memorable performance

Chamkila movie is the biopic of a Punjabi folk singer who was brutally murdered! This musical melody by Imtiaz Ali is a complex dive yet a celebration of the singer's soul. Read more:


To begin with the Chamkila movie review, it is not for the faint-hearted!!! ( Carry a box of tissues when you go to watch this musical melody). There hasn’t been a better portaryal of an artist’s life and pain which has been so beautifully lived by Diljit Dosanjh, our very own ‘Beeba Munda’!

Chamkila movie is the story of a Dalit Punjabi singer who believed in living with his beliefs but as fate would have it, he was slained for the very same reason! He was shot dead at the tender age of 27, in 1988 in Mehsampur, a small village in Jalandhar.

Let’s dive into Imtiaz Ali’s biopic of the slain Punjabi folk singer, Amar Singh Chamkila, who suffered a brutal death because he lived upto what he believed into!

Chamkila Movie: Who was Amar Singh Chamkila?

Back in the ’80s, everyone knew the name Amar Singh Chamkila. He was a big deal in the music scene, known for his edgy tunes and daring lyrics!

The late singer’s full name was Amar Singh Chamkila and he was famous for his vivid songs in high-pitched vocals. He always carried his Tumbi( Iktara), a masterful musical instrument which almost became his identity.

Born as Dhani Ram in a humble Sikh family in Punjab, Chamkila’s songs tackled taboo topics like forbidden love and family secrets. They struck a chord with folks in rural North India who felt left out.

But tragedy struck on March 8, 1988, as Chamkila and his wife, Amarjot, along with two bandmates, were gunned down while prepping for a gig in Mehsampur. Despite all the theories, the case went cold, lost in the chaos of the times.

This grim tale has inspired filmmakers before, like Kabir Singh Chowdhry’s Mehsampur (2018). Now, Imtiaz Ali and his brother Sajid take a shot at Chamkila’s story. While it might not unearth new secrets, Ali’s film is more of a celebration of Chamkila’s life than a deep dive. Still, it gives us a peek into the man behind the music. 

Chamkila Movie: A must-watch Musical Melody

Although the entire Chamkila movie is an unforgettable cinematic experience, there’s one scene which rips your heart out: Chamkila’s gig in Toronto during his ’87 tour!

Despite packing the house and outselling Amitabh Bachchan, Chamkila’s joy fades fast. A narrator hints at a deeper sadness, like the end of innocence! It’s a moment that sticks with you, making you wonder about the price of fame.

Imtiaz Ali‘s storytelling jumps around, mixing childhood memories with the aftermath of Chamkila’s death. The film’s visuals and music, reminiscent of Ali’s other works, add layers to the tale.

We see Chamkila’s rise from a mill worker to a folk icon, navigating personal and societal hurdles along the way. His marriage to Amarjot, despite their different backgrounds and his past, is a big highlight. And against the backdrop of Punjab’s political turmoil, Chamkila’s music becomes a symbol of both rebellion and unity.

While Ali’s film captures the essence of ’80s Punjab, it’s more about the people around Chamkila than the man himself. Still, with its heartfelt performances and engaging storytelling, it’s a fitting tribute to a musician whose impact went far beyond his songs.

Listen to Amar Singh Chamkila’s songs here:

Jyoti Sehrawat
Jyoti Sehrawat
Jyoti Sehrawat is a passionate writer and an English language educator who has been writing professionally for over 14 years. Her journey as a writer began as a personal endeavor, a way to express her thoughts, feelings, and imagination. Over the years, it evolved into a lifelong pursuit, a calling that she’s truly passionate about. When she’s not writing, she loves to paint, explore new DIYs and bake French-vanilla muffins!


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