* The Kerala Story will be available to stream on OTT later this month.
* The movie has been controversial ever since its release with critiques calling it a propaganda.
* It has however grossed Rs 225 crore at the box office.
* ZEE5 is to release The Kerala Story on June 23.
* Ada Sharma, Yogita Bihani, Siddhi Idnani, and Sonia Balani play the lead in the movie.
* Has become the second biggest film after SRK’s Pathan.
Despite the controversy surrounding it because of its premise, The Kerala Story, which had its theatrical release on May 5, 2023, garnered an enormously great response and has grown to become the second-biggest-grossing film of this year behind Shahrukh Khan’s Pathan.
The movie’s actress Ada Sharma while on the one side, got adulation from the audience, but she also received death and rape threats from individuals and orthodox organisations alike. One individual even shared her personal cell number online, which made her register a complaint to the police.
We have already told you that ZEE5 had bought the rights to the digital streaming of the movie, and now according to a piece of new information, ZEE5 has decided to launch the movie on its platform on June 23.
The controversial movie ‘The Kerala Story’ is getting an OTT release later this month. The Kerala Story released in theatres on May 5th, and it has since received both praise and criticism but the controversy surrounding the movie started months before it even debuted.
Despite the controversy, The Kerala Story has garnered almost Rs 225 crore at the box office.
When and Where to Watch The Kerala Story
ZEE5 has decided to release the controversial movie The Kerala Story on its platform on June 23. However, there is no official confirmation about the release dates has been made by the streaming giant. Viewers will need a subscription to the streaming service to watch the movie.
|Movie/Show Name||OTT Platform||Release Date||Language|
|The Kerala Story||ZEE5||June 23||Hindi, Telugu, Tamil|
The Kerala Story OTT release date
This isn’t the official announcement though as it has been tweeted by a page that shares regular Telugu movie updates. But it is the official poster, so the information is most likely true.
The teaser poster also confirms that The Kerala Story will stream in Hindi, Telugu, and Tamil.
The Kerala Story Cast
Directed by Sudipto Sen, The Kerala Story stars Adah Sharma as Shalini Unnikrishnan, Yogita Bihani as Nimah Matthew, Sonia Balani as Asifa, and Siddhi Idnani as Geethanjali Menon. The movie also features Devadarshini Chetan, Usha Subramanian Saksena, Saniya Mir and Pranay Pachauri.
Official Trailer and Plot
The narrative of The Kerala Story revolves around the women from Kerala who became Muslims and joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
According to the creators of “The Kerala Story,” up to 32,000 girls from Kerala vanished from their state in order to join the terrorist organisation ISIS, which has a presence in Syria.
The makers of the film did, however, amend the description following a social media controversy and an order of the court in response to the trailer and description.
On social media and in the movie’s posters, the “description” has been “modified” to say “three girls” rather than “32,000.”
Ada Sharma, Yogita Bihani, Siddhi Idnani, and Sonia Balani play the main characters in Kerala Story, which was directed by Sudipto Sen and produced by Vipul Amrutalal Shah.
At the time of its release, Kerala Story was met with overwhelmingly good reviews from both audiences and critics. With a take of about Rs 8 crore, the film had the fifth-highest opening day for a Hindi film in 2023.
The movie’s official trailer debuted a month ago, and 46 million people have seen it since then. The movie has an 8.2 out of 10 rating on IMDb.
The movie has generated a lot of controversy in India, where the West Bengal government attempted to outlaw it and Tamil Nadu multiplex owners have stopped showing it due to issues with peace and order.
However, the movie is exempt from state sales taxes in a number of states, including Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The movie even got a mention in PM Modi’s speeches during the Karnataka election, which further made the movie a political target.
The Kerala Story Storyline
Fatima Ba (previously Shalini Unnikrishnan), an ex-Hindu woman from Kerala narrates her story of being converted and induced to become a suicide bomber working for ISIS.
The narrative chronicles the story of two more Non-Muslim nursing students from Kerala who are used as the perpetrators of communal “jihad.”
The film explores the toolkit of luring innocent youth (especially women) into committing acts of terrorism by systematic brainwashing, substance abuse, sexual exploitation and illegal trafficking across borders and also the inherent problem with exclusionist religious fanatics of Islam. —moviegoer.
Fatima is accused of being a terrorist and caught on the Afghan -Iran border during the interrogation she revels that her name is Shalini Unnikrishanan and from Kerala who was brain washed into becoming a terrorist.
Shalini lived with her mother and grandmother in Kerala who went to study nursing in the city and met three friends Nimah Matthew, Gitanjali and Asifa.
The three girls bonded well and Asifa who belonged to a Islamic Jihadi group would always tell them that there is only one religion and one god in the world and people who wont believe him will not attain salvation.
Asifa along with Abdul and Rameez creates such situation among the girls that out of fear Shalini and Gitanajali start to wear Hijab and start to believe that no other god exits. While Nimah who feels something fishy decides to spend less time with the group and parts away.
Shalini becomes pregnant with Abdul and is forced to accept Islam but Abdul flees as per the plan and she is forced to marry Ishaq believing secure future for her and her kid. But what Shalini does not know is that she will be illegally deported across many borders and taken to Syria to become a suicide bomber.
The Kerala Story Review
The Kerala Story has finally released in theatres, and the movie is off to a flying start, even after a lot of outrage. Ahead of release, The Kerala Story became the fifth-highest advance booking for any film in 2023.
Till now, the movie has received mixed responses from the audience, with some calling it propaganda and others saying it was an eye-opener. The plot of the movie is definitely spot on, but the screenplay and background music are not that great.
The performances of lead actress Adah Sharma and other supporting cast members are fine but nothing extraordinary. The script and performance of the movie could have been much better.
The Kerala Story Box Office Collection
The Kerala Story is winning at the box office. After opening with 8.03 crores in India net, it saw a jump of 50% on Day 2 and collected 11.22 crores, then Sunday brought 16.40 crores, what a great first weekend.
The film not only passed Monday test even earned bigger than opening, getting stronger with passing days now, low budget clean Blockbuster, and became the second highest grossing movie of 2023, after Pathaan, enters 200 Crore Club on Day 18.
The Kerala Story Release Date
The movie, The Kerala Story, is fully ready for the audience to watch, and it has finally released in theatres worldwide on May 5, 2023. The makers of the movie announced the release date through social media platforms.
After a lot of outrage on social media, Sudipto Sen, director and writer of The Kerala Story, requested the audience watch the movie first before raising boycott slogans. Sen took to Twitter and said, “Folded hand, I request all of you to watch the film first. The country’s best, award-winning technicians worked with a super young team for seven long years and delivered one sensible cinema. We agree to disagree. But please watch the film first.”
The Kerala Story Star Cast & Makers
The Kerala story will feature actress Adah Sharma in the pivotal role, and she is playing the character of a girl named Shalini Unnikrishnan. Apart from Adah Sharma, Yogita Bihani, Benedict Garrett, Bhavna Makhija, and Siddhi Idnani played the main roles.
The movie is directed by Sudipto Sen and written by Suryapal Singh and Vipul Amrutlal Shah. Sudipto Sen is also the writer of the movie. The movie is bankrolled by Ashin A. Shah of Sunshine Pictures.
The Kerala Story Plot
According to the makers of the movie, The Kerala Story is based on the forced conversion of 32,000 women in Kerala. The story will showcase how these women are being converted and are being illegally transported to another country to join ISIS.
The Kerala Story Trailer
The makers of “The Kerala Story” have released the trailer for the movie. The trailer showcases Adah Sharma in the character of Shalini Unnikrishnan, who is a happy-go-lucky girl, and how her life takes a turn from a daydream to a nightmare.
Besides all the controversy, the trailer for the movie looks promising, and the acting of all the characters looks very natural.
The Kerala Story
Faqs on The Kerala Story
1) What is The Kerala Story plot?
Ans) The movie is based on the story of three young girls from Kerala who are forced to convert to Islam and join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The movie focuses on Shalini Unnikrishnan, a Hindu woman from Kerala who is a nursing student but is later forced and manipulated to convert to Islam. She is then sent to Syria where she has to join ISIS, and eventually ends up imprisoned in Afghanistan. The initial story of the movie claimed that 32,000 girls from Kerala had been forced to join the extremist organisation but it was later changed following drawback on social media, and a court order as well.
With an OTT release, the movie will be available for just about anyone to watch it. It has been banned in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal to maintain peace but in states like Madhya Pradesh, the movie has been exempted from sales tax.
2) Naseeruddin Shah calls The Kerala Story’s success a ‘dangerous trend’, sparks row.Details?
Ans) The veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah called The Kerala Story a ‘dangerous trend’. Shah also compared this trend to Nazi Germany.
“On one hand, it is a dangerous trend, no doubt. We seem to be heading the way of Nazi Germany where in Hitler’s time, the filmmakers were co-opted, attempted to be co-opted, by the supreme leader to make films praising him and what he has done for the countrymen, and running down the Jewish community,” he said.
3) Manoj Tiwari REACTS to Naseeruddin Shah’s comments over The Kerala Story
While talking to an entertainment news channel, Manoj Tiwari called Naseeruddin Shah a good actor but added that his intentions are not good. “I say this with a heavy heart,” Tiwari continued. He elaborates his statement by saying that when films with a guy sitting at a shop and passing remarks on women were made, he did not say anything. Manoj Tiwari says that films such as The Kerala Story and The Kashmir Files have been made on facts. He further adds that if Naseeruddin Shah has a problem with it, he can go to court. “It is very easy to talk. The way he has identified himself, it is not good as an Indian and as a human being,” Manoj tells Aaj Tak.
4) The Kerala Story row: Manoj Tiwari slams Naseeruddin Shah for his ‘Nazi Germany’ remark ‘I say this with heavy heart…’
Ans) The Kerala Story might have made a huge business but there’s still controversy attached to Sudipto Sen’s movie given the subject. Not many celebs have opened up on The Kerala Story. Recently, Naseeruddin Shah was asked about the movie and the veteran actor’s remark over the same had grabbed headlines and got stark reactions from netizens. He further commented about the Indian cinema moving the Nazi Germany way. This remark of Naseeruddin Shah did not sit well with many. And now, popular Bhojpuri actor and politician, Manoj Tiwari has reacted to his statement
5) The Kerala Story Box Office Collection: After Joining Rs 200 Cr Club, Adah Sharma-Starrer Struggles To Cross Rs 250 Cr
Ans) The Kerala Story Box Office Collection: Adah Sharma-starrer ‘The Kerala Story’ has become one of the biggest hits in Bollywood in 2023. The movie has already crossed Rs 200 crore mark at the box office and is eyeing to join the Rs 250 crore club. ‘The Kerala Story’ managed to attract the audience to the theatres despite being surrounded by controversies.
The Kerala Story Box Office Collection:
According to the website sacnilk, ‘The Kerala Story’ collected around Rs 1.25 crore approximately on day 28 and its total box office collection now stands at Rs 231.66 crore.
Expressing her gratitude, Adah Sharma wrote, “Woww 4th weekend and so many of you in theatres for #TheKeralaStory !! So so grateful. Grateful to everyone in the industry who gave me every role in every movie, ad, and music video sab kuch to get to be in theatres now with this one. Thank uuuuuuuu !!”
Meanwhile, as per reports, the OTT rights of ‘The Kerala Story’ has been bought by Zee5 and the movie is reported to release online by June 2023.
Sharing some behind the scene picture from the sets of ‘The Kerala Story’, Adah wrote, “Sunkissed ,After and Before from #TheKeralaStory. Secret to chapped cracked lips like these … dehydrate for 40 hours in minus 16 degrees.”
She added, “P.S. the mattress was kept to practice the fall… but we didn’t use it #bruisedknees and chila hua elbows but ufff all so worth it. The last pic is a handful of coconut oil in the hair, safety pins and tight plaits.”
‘The Kerala Story’ has been declared tax-free in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh. Talking about the decision, the Deputy CM of Uttar Pradesh said, “Making ‘The Kerala Story’ tax-free is a very good decision. I want the people of Uttar Pradesh to watch this film and understand how our sisters have suffered. We will also go and watch the film. The people in West Benegal will not accept the ban on this film.”
By making a film tax-free, the state has waived the levy of entertainment tax and the tickets will be available at a discount.
6) The Kerala Story Box Office Day 26: Adah Sharma Starrer Continues To Hold Well In Week 4, Could Hit 250 Crores Lifetime
Ans) After bringing in 1.85 crores on Monday, The Kerala Story held on well on Tuesday with 1.80 crores more coming in. This is on expected lines as well since Monday collections, though quite good, were not really optimal due to IPL finals. Hence, the balancing act had to come in favour of the film on Tuesday.
Typically any major drops that have to come happen on Monday and Tuesday, and then stability factor comes in. Hence, today and tomorrow will now stay on to be good as well, which means one can expect 3 crores more to be added to the overall numbers by Thursday. As a result, the film would have fourth week collections in 17-18 crores range, which is simply excellent as so many films post pandemic have failed to bring in this much even in their first week.
The Vipul Shah production is playing on a different level field though and currently stands at 228.62 crores. The manner in which Adah Sharma starrer is currently going, there is now a chance that with some stretch it could actually end up hitting 250 crores mark, which would be simply brilliant.
7) ‘The Kerala Story’: Adah Sharma Didn’t Drink Water For 40 Hours, Shot In Minus 16 Degrees.
Ans) The Kerala Story’ actress Adah Sharma prepared in extreme conditions and did not even take a sip of water for 40 hours during the film’s shoot.
Adah took to her social media to share some shocking pictures from the shoot of the ‘The Kerala Story’.
She captioned the image: “Sunkissed, After and Before from #TheKeralaStory Secret to chapped cracked lips like these … dehydrate for 40 hours in minus 16 degrees #sunkissedmakeup #adahsharma @makeupbyshyam P.S. the mattress was kept to practice the fall … but we didn’t use it #bruisedknees and chila hua elbows but ufff all so worth it the last pic is a handful of coconut oil in the hair, safety pins and tight plaits.”
Adah said: “As an actor it is a pleasure to do stuff that will push me mentally and physically. I wanted to look as convincing as I could. I’m a big foodie and I usually drink five litres of water a day so it was difficult. But if you put your mind to it anything is possible.”
A source said: “Adah wanted to look convincing so for the portions in Afghanistan where she runs away from the terrorist camp, to stay in character, she didn’t drink water.”
“We shot in difficult conditions in -16 degrees and very very low oxygen. The unit members were calling sick but Adah managed well even without food and water.”
Adah has finished filming for ‘Commando’, ‘The Game Of Girgit’ and ‘Tibba’.
8) The Kerala Story Box Office Day 27: Crosses 230 Crores, Is Very Steady On Weekdays
Ans) The Kerala Story has now crossed 230 crores milestone and is just 20 crores away from hitting 250 crores. This didn’t seem too possible till last week but then very good collections over the weekend and then wonderful hold during the weekdays makes one believe that this is achievable. Yes, it’s going to be difficult but it’s certainly not out of question at all.
All of this is happening since the collections have been very steady this week. Monday was quite good at 1.85 crores, Tuesday hardly fell as it brought in 1.80 crores and now Wednesday has stood quite good as well at 1.60 crores. All of this shows how the film is continuing to find audiences with very positive word of mouth and while today again the numbers will be around 1.50 crores, all eyes are on whether 1.15-1.25 crores is hit again tomorrow despite the release of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse and Zara Hatke Zara Bachke. If that indeed turns out to be the case then the game is on for 250 crores milestone.
So far, The Kerala Story has collected 230.22 crores and while 235 crores would be comfortably surpassed by the close of weekend, anything in 237-238 crores range by then will set it up well for a lifetime of over 250 crores.
9) Ignore any lofty claims about the Bollywood hit The Kerala Story: this film will only incite hatred against Muslims.
Ans) Two weeks after I was born in the curfewed town of Aligarh, in Uttar Pradesh, the Aligarh riots of 1990 broke out. What began as skirmishes exploded into widespread bloodletting after three leading Hindi daily newspapers published front-page headlines reporting the targeted killing of Hindus inside a hospital run by Muslims. Those killings turned out to be the fevered imaginings of two Hindu “eyewitnesses”. But the actual massacres ignited by this fake news eventually left about a hundred people dead, the vast majority of them Muslims.
A fortnight ago, I watched the new Bollywood hit The Kerala Story, in a rundown cinema in Delhi. The sluggish air conditioning seemed to have given up against the sultry May heat. A group of (largely) young Hindu men packed out the theatre. Occasionally, they broke out into passionate chants of “Jai Shri Ram”, the cry that often accompanies videos of “vigilante violence” committed against Muslims. Yet when they streamed out of the theatre, they looked more horrified than enraged, like sports fans numbed after their side has taken one beating after another. The rolling spectacle of an all-round “Hindu humiliation” – including graphic scenes depicting Hindu women being violently raped by Muslims – had lasted for more than two hours.
The Kerala Story claims to dramatically reconstruct the saga of a few young women who converted to Islam and subsequently fled with their husbands to the Islamic State’s enclaves of Afghanistan and Syria. Among the creative liberties taken by the producers is the deliberate misrepresentation of a handful of such cases (estimates range from four to 15) and the absurd claim that they represent the “gut-wrenching stories of 32,000 females”. That “big lie”, having no evidentiary basis and since excised from the official trailer, forms the heart of this Islamophobic fantasy that is playing out in theatres across the country.
Though the film has been attacked as dangerous “hate propaganda” by opposition politicians such as the chief minister of Kerala, and panned by critics, it has been championed by India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata party (BJP). The Kerala Story enjoys informal status as a kind of semi-official production of the ruling establishment, documenting the conspiratorial themes of “love jihad” and “rampant religious conversion”.
Surveys suggest many Indians (53% respondents, according to a recent poll) now believe in the Islamophobic idea of “love jihad”: a sprawling conspiracy to convert innocent Hindu women to Islam by luring them into romantic entanglements with Muslim men. Multiple investigative agencies, including one under the central Modi government, have returned with no concrete evidence that the phenomenon exists.
The exhaustive publicity that mainstream news channels devoted to the film before its release appear to bear the fingerprints of the ruling establishment. The prime minister, Narendra Modi, banished any lingering doubts with his mention of the movie, barely hours after its release, during a campaign rally in the state of Karnataka. The film’s importance, he said, lay in its portrayal of a “new type” of terrorism where “guns, bombs and pistols” have been replaced by a conspiracy “which undermines society from within”. Modi emphasised the film’s allusion to the Congress party, the primary opposition, as “hand in glove with this terrorism”. Soon, BJP chief ministers lined up to hold special screenings of
The Kerala Story and grant it tax-free status, which is usually reserved for films with educational importance.
The Kerala Story is indeed an important cultural artefact. But this is not because the film reveals anything worthwhile about the prosperous and progressive state of Kerala – the only major Indian state to have never voted in a BJP member of parliament. Instead, the film and its surrounding culture is a poignant self-portrait of a nation that has ingested a toxic brew of Hindu nationalism and is now descending into collective madness.
A typically unhinged scene from the movie shows a converted Muslim woman fulfilling a “sacred religious duty” by spitting on the face of her Hindu father, as he lies in hospital recovering from a heart attack caused by the news of her religious conversion.
In Birmingham, Muslim activists have reportedly tried to stop the film’s screening. In Britain, you could legitimately argue that cancelling screenings would infringe the film-makers’ freedom of expression. In India, the same arguments carry a Kafkaesque humour. The political scientist Paul Brass, studying the Aligarh riots of 1990, concluded that the prominent city newspapers deliberately spread communal propaganda because they were part of an institutionally violent system. Similarly, the film is symptomatic of a state that is invested in the institutional production of Islamophobic bigotry.
The market for state-sanctioned hate speech is thriving in India. You can take your pick: stream the bloodlust of nightly news; browse through vigilante videos on rightwing social media channels; or listen to the exploding genre of Hindutva pop, christened by the German broadcaster DW as the “soundtrack of hate”. And occasionally, the country gets treated to a “Hindutva horror” blockbuster such as The Kerala Story. We are being encouraged to consume culture that incites hate. The consequences will be grave.
10) Vipul Shah on lack of screens for The Kerala Story: ‘Won’t be able to fight with goons’
Ans) Producer Vipul Shah has said that the film’s makers have taken all legal recourse they could to ensure the screening of The Kerala Story. However, they will not be able to get down to the streets and fight goons, he added. (Also read: Sudipto reacts to Kamal Haasan calling The Kerala Story ‘propaganda’)
The Kerala Story released earlier this month, but the film’s screening was banned in West Bengal. After the producers filed cases, the Supreme Court (SC) recently asked the state government to remove the bans on the screening of the film. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud also directed the Tamil Nadu government to ensure all security arrangements are made to ensure the film’s screening and the safety of moviegoers. The bench said it is the duty of the state government to maintain law and order as the film has been granted certification by the CBFC
Vipul Shah on less screens
Asked if he would take any legal steps to ensure the screening of his film, Vipul told DNA, “We did whatever we could under the law. Nothing is above the Supreme Court in this country. Now, we would request the SC to take suo motu action against these governments and make sure punishment is given that is so strong that nobody does this in the future. Supreme Court has lifted the ban. Beyond this, we will not be able to go onto the streets and fights with goons of these parties.”
West Bengal ban
Imposing a ban on the film, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had labelled it a ‘distorted story’. The state government also said that the ban was imposed ‘to maintain peace and harmony’ in the state.
The movie was banned under section 6 of the West Bengal Cinemas (Regulation) Act ,which says that if the state is of the opinion that any film which is being publicly exhibited is likely to cause breach of peace, the exhibition of the film may be suspended or prohibited.
The Kerala Story controversy
The film directed by Sudipto Sen features Adah Sharma, Sonia Balani and Yogita Bihani. After the film’s trailer claimed that 32,000 women went missing from the state of Kerala alone, several people objected to the estimated figures. The film claimed all these women were made to join the terrorist group ISIS, after forced conversion.
11) When is The Kerala Story releasing?
Ans. The Kerala Story will be released in Theatres worldwide on May 5, 2023.
12) What is the star cast of The Kerala Story?
Ans. The Kerala Story features Adah Sharma, Yogita Bihani, Benedict Garrett, Bhavna Makhija, and Siddhi Idnani in the lead roles.
13) Who is the director of The Kerala Story?
Ans. Filmmaker Sudipto Sen is the director and writer of The Kerala Story.
14) Is ‘The Kerala Story’ Flop, hit or blockbuster?
Ans) The Kerala Story is Blockbuster Bollywood movie of 2023.