Amar Singh Chamkila Movie Review

Rahul Desai

Imtiaz is Back

Imtiaz Ali imagines his way back to form. The biopic stars Diljit Dosanjh as the iconic and wildly popular Punjabi pop star and Parineeti Chopra as Amarjot.

Rare Cocktail

Amar Singh Chamkila is a rare cocktail of legend and legacy. The life of the slain Punjabi musician – his star-crossed rise in the 1980s; his alliances and duets; his ambitions and apprehensions – is defined by the very language of opinion.

Dualities of Grassroots Fame

A blinding mirror of a state as well as its cracked glass ceiling. He was at once loved and hated, criticised and glorified, silenced and quoted, killed and immortalised. After all, the “Elvis of Punjab” didn’t fly too close to the sun; he became the sun. 


Natural Identity of Chamkila

This brings me to the natural identity of Amar Singh Chamkila. As perceptive a biographical drama as it is, the film is better enjoyed as an Imtiaz Ali movie. It takes the director’s long-standing fascination with fiction and distills it into a moving postmortem of memory.


Best Enjoyed as an Imtiaz Ali Movie

The conflict is familiar: The politics of art is censored by the religions of intolerance. Across the film, Chamkila is subjected to scrutiny – he is torn between appeasing and being, disappointing and pleasing, hearing and listening.


Musicality of Living

Aarti Bajaj’s editing again captures the musicality of living; it splices and splits frames, routines and archival footage in a tongue that casts time as a finite entity.