Review: Surrender yourself to Imtiaz Ali’s world and witness sheer magic happen with 'Amar Singh Chamkila'

Living up to its buzz, 'Amar Singh Chamkila', now streaming on Netflix, offers a captivating cinematic journey that is bound to make your weekend memorable.

Amar Singh Chamkila Review
Amar Singh Chamkila Review

There's a certain enchantment in the works of a few filmmakers, and with each story they spin, they create something otherworldly. One such luminary in the realm of cinema is Imtiaz Ali. Known for his sheer brilliance and imaginative storytelling, he has a talent for transporting viewers to a realm of awe. Well, he is back, and how. This time, he presents the tale of Amar Singh Chamkila, a revered Punjabi singer whose bold and vulgar lyrics spark both fame and controversy across Punjab. The plot delves into Chamkila's odyssey, navigating the peaks of success and the valleys of harsh critique until his tragic end. Living up to its buzz, 'Amar Singh Chamkila', now streaming on Netflix, offers a captivating cinematic journey that is bound to make your weekend memorable. Having had the privilege to experience this masterpiece on the silver screen with MAMI Year Round Programme, here are my reflections on the film.

Imtiaz Ali's mystical world

Review: 'Amar Singh Chamkila'
Source: Screengrab from Amar Singh Chamkila trailer - Netflix Youtube

Imtiaz Ali's direction in "Amar Singh Chamkila" deserves a nod for the depth and complexity he brings to the story. While he maintains his signature style, he adds extra layers to this saga, introducing fresher conflicts and innovative techniques. Animated sequences, real-life comparisons, and simultaneous scenes with divided frames add depth to the narrative. The inclusion of random pictures of the real-life Chamkila and Amarjot adds authenticity to the non-fiction tale. The film is enhanced by foot-tapping music by AR Rahman, stellar lyrics by Irshad Kamil, sharp dialogues, authentic locations, and outstanding performances. Beyond its surface as immersive Bollywood entertainment, "Amar Singh Chamkila" transcends the typical biopic genre, offering a rich and indulgent experience that may require more attention than usual but is ultimately rewarding.

Reel as good as real

Source: Screengrab from Amar Singh Chamkila trailer - Netflix Youtube

As the opening credits roll, it's unmistakably Imtiaz Ali's world. The film plunges us into Chamkila's land, where the villagers introduce us to Amar and set the stage for the musical journey ahead. Just like in Imtiaz's previous works, the setting plays a crucial role. This time, the streets of Punjab, the akhadas, and the stages where Chamkila and Amarjot perform all become integral characters, each with their own stories to tell. The film's authenticity shines through. Conviction fills in with every frame, adding depth to the drama and realism to the narrative.

Diljit Dosanjh and Parineeti Chopra

Source: Screengrab from Amar Singh Chamkila trailer - Netflix Youtube

Again, kudos to Imtiaz here for his casting choices because, after watching the film, I don't think anyone else could have embodied Chamkila as Diljit did. Through Imtiaz's lens, Diljit embodies the essence of Chamkila, showcasing his versatility as an actor. From his appearance to his voice, from his mannerisms to his performances on stage, Diljit brings Chamkila to life in a powerful way. He effortlessly portrays the singer's passion for music, innocence, and simplicity, evoking a range of emotions from humor to heartache, fear to courage. Diljit makes you feel for Chamkila. 

The chemistry between Diljit's Chamkila and Parineeti Chopra's Amarjot is palpable. Their evolving love story is portrayed with subtlety and nuance, with every glance and gesture speaking volumes. Parineeti, who has had her share of misses in previous roles, shines brightly here as a solid actress. Despite Diljit's captivating presence, she holds her own and adds depth to her character. From her hunch to her hand gestures, from her expressions to her vocal delivery, Parineeti's performance complements the narrative beautifully. 

Even the side characters like Apinderdeep Singh as Sivia, Udyabir Sandhu, Anhad Singh are all very smartly casted and guided through. Anjum Batra as Tikka sweeps away with his comic timing, the end betrayal scene and his chemistry with Diljit in each sequence they share the screen. 

The music

Source: Screengrab from Amar Singh Chamkila trailer - Netflix Youtube

Last but not the least, rather a  feast- the music of the film. Amar Singh Chamkila wasn't just a person; he was an emotion in Punjab. To do justice to his story, the music had to be exceptional. Mohit Chauhan's "Ishq Mitaye" captures his journey from obscurity to fame, with his powerful voice adding to the drama. And do not miss his cameo breaking the fourth wall. 

"Tu Kya Jaane" by Yashika Sikka beautifully portrays the blossoming romance between Chamkila and Amarjot. Their love story is depicted with such innocence and simplicity that words are hardly needed; the music speaks volumes. Other tracks like "Baaja," "Bol Mohaabat," and "Vida Karo" also carry their own magic, immersing you completely in the world of the film. To truly experience the essence of the narrative, you have to surrender yourself to the enchanting melodies of this musical feast.

The Verdict

I can only say Imtiaz Ali is back and how. So just surrender yourself into this world and witness the magic with Amar Singh Chamkila


****(4/5) stars

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Mohit Chauhan Thumbnail

Mohit Chauhan

A.R. Rahman Thumbnail

A.R. Rahman

Imtiaz Ali Thumbnail

Imtiaz Ali

Irshad Kamil Thumbnail

Irshad Kamil

Parineeti Chopra Thumbnail

Parineeti Chopra

Diljit Dosanjh Thumbnail

Diljit Dosanjh

Amar Singh Chamkila poster

Amar Singh Chamkila

Netflix thumbnail


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