Fans of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, one of Bollywood’s most enduring films have slammed the decision to cast the main male character as a white man in the upcoming Broadway musical adaptation.
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, known as DDLJ, is being adapted for Broadway as Come Fall in Love – The DDLJ Musical.
When the film was released in 1995, written and directed by Aditya Chopra, it starred Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol as Raj and Simran, a lovestruck young couple who must win over family and friends opposed to their union. The film made a total of $60million worldwide, became the highest-grossing Indian film of 1995 and is still shown in cinemas today.
Chopra will make his stage directing debut with the musical. However, the decision to cast a white man Austin Colby in the title role – and rename him as Rog – has led some critics to accuse the musical producers of “whitewashing.”
Celebrated Indian chef Vikas Khanna tweeted to his 2.2 million followers that he thinks this is a “terrible” decision.
And the BBC interviewed one disappointed fan who that “South Asian-American actors would want to be considered and see their culture in a place which historically doesn’t reflect” it, so the casting should support that in a main role.
Paridhi Puri told the BBC that, with any remake, there’s a chance to make it “a better story” and address bits which may not have aged well over time.
Shah Rukh Khan’s portrayal of Raj in the 1995 film 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 were facing resistance from their families.
The musical will open on Broadway during the 2022/23 season after a world premiere at San Diego’s Old Globe Theater in September 2022.