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'DDLJ' is going to Broadway but fans are not happy

'Come Fall In Love – The DDLJ Musical' will have its premiere in California in September before moving to New York.

August 06, 2022 / 05:17 PM IST
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, a timeless Bollywood romance, is being made into a musical.

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, a timeless Bollywood romance, is being made into a musical.


Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, the iconic Bollywood romance, is being made into musical. But even before its opening night in California in September, the project has become mired in controversy.

Helmed by Aditya Chopra, who directed the 1995 classic starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, Come Fall In Love – The DDLJ Musicalwill have its premiere in San Diego in California before moving to Broadway, Variety magazine reported.

While female lead character will be the same as the film, the male protagonist is not Raj but an American named Rog Mandel. It will be portrayed by British actor Austin Colby.

And so, the project is drawing criticism for "whitewashing".

Some fans described the casting choice as "beyond horrifying".


"So Broadway is adapting the iconic Bollywood movie, DDLJ into a musical and guess who they cast to play Raj... YES A WHITE MAN," a Twitter user said. 























 

Celebrity chef Vikas Khanna said he was "super excited" at first to learn that the timeless Bollywood romance was a getting a Broadway adaptation.

"We decided to fly," he tweeted. "Then I read that ICONIC Raj is played by Austin Colby as Rog Mandel. I might never see THIS."

 

Another Twitter comment lamented the lack of cultural representation of South Asians.

"I am sick and tired of white people taking away representation from South Asians," they added. "We hardly get any."

But the musical's producers said the project was about the need for "cultural unification" at present.

"It is about the celebration of inclusivity and diversity in a world that's getting polarised by the minute," Yash Raj Films told the BBC's Newsbeat.

Meanwhile , Colby, the lead actor, said he was aware he was not Raj, the beloved character played by Shah Rukh Khan.

"Nor will I ever pretend to be," he told Variety. "I am excited to fulfil the creative team’s vision for this role and I truly believe in the story and how we are telling it."

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first published: Aug 6, 2022 02:17 pm
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