Amar Singh Chamkila (2024) Movie Review – A simple story told beautifully

A simple story told beautifully with a stupendous background score

Films are a great way to escape reality but sometimes movies connect you to real-life events. One such film is the latest biographical movie by ace filmmaker, Imtiaz Ali. The Netflix Original has been released globally and is already garnering a lot of attention online as many viewers are calling this a comeback from Imtiaz Ali.

Amar Singh Chamkila stars Diljit Dosanjh in the titular role and narrates the story of legendary Punjabi singer and songwriter – Chamkila who is dubbed as the Elvis Presley of India. Chamkila’s music resonated with the masses due to their quirky lyrics full of sexual innuendos. This caused Chamkila to see a boom in popularity, leading to his and his wife, Amarjot Kaur’s, eventual assassination.

The film is narrated in reverse chronology with the deaths of Amarjot and Chamkila highlighted in the opening scene itself. Now, the murder of Chamkila was recently brought back into the limelight after the assassination of rapper and songwriter – Sidhu Moosewaala. 

To this day, we see Diljit speaking about how much he revered Chamkila’s music and it is a treat to see Diljit play Chamkila. The film is simple and narrates the story of an ordinary man’s journey to becoming a superstar. We also see fame take over Chamkila’s mind and his greed to remain famous, as well as the jealousy of the people around him that eventually ended his life and that of his wife.

Parineeti Chopra does a great job at portraying the supportive yet meek partner of Chamkilar. The film goes on to show how Amarjot chooses to stay with Chamkila even after learning about his previous marriage and it narrates just how helpless Indian women were in the 80’s as they were treated as mere objects without any hesitation.

The film does touch upon Chamkila’s lyrics that not only objectified women but also treated them as commodities. While this is no justification for Chamkila’s mindset, we see his character explain why he wrote the kind of lyrics he did.

The irony of how people who purchased and enjoyed Chamkila’s music were the ones to morally police him about the vulgarity of his songs is not lost in this Netflix Original. Time and again, Chamkila is perplexed thinking why his listeners enjoy the songs he wrote and why he still received death threats from people asking him to stop writing such songs.

While Diljit is the star that shines in this film, the music in the film is beyond amazing. We see Diljit and Parineeti along with other actors perform the songs sung by Chamkila and his band. For people who do not understand Punjabi, the subtitles in Hindi and English (as well as other regional languages) do a great job of conveying these thoughts. The songs are composed by the legendary A. R. Rahman while Irshad Kamil wrote the lyrics. 

The combination of Irshad Kamil and Imtiaz Ali, along with A. R. Rahman, is one that we last saw in 2011 with Rockstar. This trio has finally made a comeback with Amar Singh Chamkila, producing music that evokes a sense of nostalgia amongst many fans of Imtiaz Ali’s filmmaking. The single ‘Ishq Mitaye’ comes off as a peppy track with deep-cutting lyrics that leave you thinking about Chamkila’s life and legacy.

The film does a very good job of highlighting how caste plays a significant role in Indian society and how despite becoming popular, Chamkila still saw himself as a lowlife and a servant. Seeing him dance with transgender people during his wedding ceremony with Amarjot shows how, despite being a big star, he was human first. Amar Singh Chamkila does a stupendous job of narrating the story of the singer-Chamkila’s life as well as his untimely demise making this a must-watch.


Read More: Amar Singh Chamkila (2024) Ending Explained

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  • Verdict - 9.5/10

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