‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ slammed for “Whitewashing” musical – Deadline

Fans of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayengeone of Bollywood’s most enduring films has slammed the decision to cast the male lead as a white man in the upcoming Broadway musical adaptation.

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayengeknown as DDLJbeing adapted to Broadway as Fall in Love – DDLJ Musical.

Released in 1995, the film, written and directed by Aditya Chopra, starred Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol as Raj and Simran, a young couple in love who must win over family and friends who oppose their union. The film grossed a total of $60 million worldwide, became the highest-grossing Indian film of 1995, and is still showing in theaters today.

Chopra makes his stage directorial debut with the musical. However, the decision to cast a white man Austin Colby in the title role – and rename him Rog – has led some critics to accuse the musical producers of “whitewashing”.

Celebrity Indian chef Vikas Khanna tweeted to his 2.2 million followers that he thinks it’s a “terrible” decision.

And the BBC interviewed a disappointed fan that “South Asian-American actors would want to be considered and see their culture in a place that historically doesn’t reflect” it, so the casting should support that in a lead role.

Paridhi Puri told the BBC that with any remake there is a chance to make it “a better story” and address pieces that may not have aged well over time.

Shah Rukh Khan’s portrayal of Raj in the 1995 film was an instant hit and helped establish him as the “King of Romance” for Bollywood, while Raj and Simran became role models for couples who wanted to be together but faced opposition from their families .

The musical will open on Broadway in the 2022/23 season after a world premiere at San Diego’s Old Globe Theater in September 2022.

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