Tamil Nadu cinemas announced to take out the controversial movie of 2023 ‘The Kerala Story’ from Sunday (May 7). The film has sparked outrage and was protested against the allegedly false portrayal of the Kerala state in the matter of religion and terrorism.
Before its release, the movie was opposed by the audience when its trailer was out. It claimed that 32,000 women from Kerala were converted to Islam and joined ISIS. The makers faced backlash for exaggerating numbers and facts. It was later changed to “true stories of three young girls from different parts of Kerala”.
Tamil Nadu theatre owners noticed the protest and according to them the movie was not doing well in Tamil Nadu thetres and hence they decided to stop the screening of the film. The online bookings of the show have already been halted and even removed from several online platforms. President of Tamil Nadu Theatre and Multiplex Owners Association, M Subramaniam, announced that the some cinemas that had shown the film had decided to withdraw it.
He told PTI, “The film was only shown in a few multiplexes owned by pan- India groups, mostly PVR. Locally- owned multiplexes had already decided not to show the film, as it did not have any popular stars. In Coimbatore for instance, there were two shows so far -one on Friday and one on Saturday. Even those who did not do well. Given that, theatres decided that it was not worth going through the threat of protests and such.”
A senior member of the Theatre Owners’ Association told NDTV that due to law and order concerns, other films shown in multiplexes that screen this movie suffer. It affects their income. That’s why they had to take this decision.
However, the film is still airing in other states and is winning hearts. A user wrote, “Wow, what an incredible movie experience! I was completely captivated from start to finish. The storytelling was masterful, with a gripping plot that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. The acting was top-notch, with each actor delivering a powerful and convincing performance.”
A chunk of netizens said that the movie was made in a way to spread hatred against the Islamic community. Few expressed their views on why the film should be banned as Muslims are targeted in such movies to create a false and negative perception of the community.
Movie critic, Taran Adarsh expressed his review via a tweet:
Bold. Blunt. Thought-provoking. Hard-hitting. Disturbing… You need a strong stomach to absorb this story… Director #SudiptoSen packs a solid punch… #AdahSharma is terrific… #Boxoffice WINNER. #TheKeralaStoryReview pic.twitter.com/EhjTwuRhCM
— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) May 5, 2023
Another user commented, “A brilliant, courageous and truthful well-researched story. It’ll leave you shocked and sad at times but is thoroughly researched and tells the hard truth. Like the Kashmir files, the author has shown the guts and the performance of Adah Sharma is praiseworthy.”
On the other hand, The Kerala Story is surpassing all expectations and had its opening day with 8.03 crores at the box office. On the second day, it gained around 11.50-12.50 crore and around Rs. 16 crore at the box office on its third day. Its total collection is around Rs. 35.75 crore.