Fans of Dilwale Dulhania Le JayengeOne of Bollywood’s most enduring films has rejected the decision to cast the lead male character as a white man in the upcoming Broadway musical adaptation.
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayengeknown as DDLJbeing adapted for Broadway as Come Fall in Love – The DDLJ Musical.
When the film was released in 1995, written and directed by Aditya Chopra, Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol starred as Raj and Simran, a young couple in love who must convince family and friends who are against their union. The film grossed a total of $60 million worldwide, became the highest-grossing Indian film of 1995 and continues to be shown in theaters today.
Chopra makes his directorial debut with the musical. However, the decision to cast a white Austin Colby in the title role – and rename him as Rog – has led some critics to accuse the music producers of “money laundering.”
Celebrated Indian chef Vikas Khanna tweeted to his 2.2 million followers that he thinks this is a “terrible” decision.
And the BBC interviewed a disappointed fan who said that “South Asian-American actors would like to be considered and see their culture in a place that’s historically out of place,” so the casting should support that in a starring role.
Paridhi Puri told the BBC that with every remake there is an opportunity to make it a “better story” and tackle bits 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 encountered resistance from their families.
The musical will premiere on Broadway in the 2022/23 season, following a world premiere at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego in September 2022.