Actors are thus known as that’s what they do: act. Impersonate/embody/represent people who they are not. That’s why Akshay Kumar, Sunny Deol and Salman Khan and Ranbir Kapoor could play Sikh characters in Singh Is Kiing(sic.). Border, Heroes and Rocket Singh Salesman Of The Year.
But now it’s different. Only a gay man can play Freddie Mercury. I know Rami Malek who played him in the Mercury bio-pic was not gay. But that was four years ago. Now if you are keen on playing Stevie Wonder you must blind yourself before auditioning.
Kartik Aaryan has just lost the opportunity to play the controversial Punjabi singer Amar Singh Chamkila whose provocative songs about Punjabi culture were often seen by conservatives to be an insult to Punjabiyat. Chamkila and his wife were brutally gunned down when he was just 27 by unknown assailants probably giving him gun for his gana.
By the way Diljit is 38. Chamila died at 27. But that’s okay. Aamir played a college student in Rakeysh Mehra’s Rang De Basanti at age 42.
Moving on, Kartik Aaryan was considered the most eligible for the part of Chamkila , as the young actor is seen to have a compelling connectivity with the young . Director Imtiaz Ali had worked with Kartik in Love Aaj Kal and it was a ‘given’ that Kartik Aaryan would play Chamkila.
But now it is Diljit Dosanjh who has bagged the challenging role. Insiders tell me it’s because Dosanjh can sing. Kartik Aaryan can’t.
We hear you. Imagine Jaya Bhaduri in Abhimaan or Ranbir Kapoor in Rockstar being told to buzz off as they can’t sing in real life. Hrishikesh Mukherjee would have just been forced to sign an actress who can sing (Sulakshana Pandit??!!!) and Lataji’s soulful songs in Abhimaan would have been sung by the actress who could song.
No,I believe the real reason why Dosanjh has finally grabbed the role was his Punjabiyat. This to me sounds really alarming. By this line of reasoning Vivek Oberoi would have never been allowed to play PM Modi. Whether that would have been a good thing or bad, is besides the point.
If Diljit Dosanjh is playing Chamkila what about the turban? Chamkila was not a Sikh. He didn’t wear a turban. Diljit has very clearly told me won’t take off his turban for a role. I can’t wait to see how this “minor” issue will be sorted.