The film “The Kerala Story” is a brave attempt to shed light on the dark and brutal reality of love-jihad, sex slavery, rape, radicalisation, indoctrination, and ISIS recruitment in the state of Kerala, India. Inspired by true events, the movie follows the story of three women affected by these crimes in a small town called Kasaragod.
The film’s direction by Sudipto Sen, in his first mainstream feature, is commendable, and the use of a documentary-style format with a lot of back-and-forth movement between past and present landscapes keeps the audience engaged. The tone of past and present is differentiated with the music, camera movement, and color palette.
The parallel storylines of past and present are well-balanced, with the filmmakers sometimes extending scenes of brutal violence, rape, and exploitation to emphasize the agony of the women affected by it. A lot of close-ups are also used in the present storyline when their situations in life have worsened and the aftermath, severe.
The performances by Adah Sharma, Yogita Bihani, Sonia Balani, and Siddhi Idnani are spot-on, and they deliver commendable performances.
The film is thematically rich, with explorations of Hindu religious worship, atheism, communism, and the process of indoctrinating Islam and Sharia law shown in the film. It also shows the extremes of toxic masculinity, the vibe of innocence, and the effects of company influence in tender years. However, one thing that really irks about “The Kerala Story” is its background score, which is quite deafening and interrupts the narrative.
Despite some flaws in the film, such as the typical and cliched dialogue and the overuse of violence and sexual exploitation, “The Kerala Story” is an honest and engaging tale worth a watch. The attempt is earnest, and the research is thorough, making the film an informative and thought-provoking depiction of the contentious socio-political crime and controversy around its subject matter.
‘The Kerala Story’ Film Stokes Free Speech Debate
The release of ‘The Kerala Story’ has stirred up a controversy over free speech in India. The film, which attempts to expose the new face of terrorism in society, has been accused of being offensive to the Islamic community by some petitioners. While Prime Minister Modi has alleged that the Congress party is attempting to ban the film, the Kerala High Court has refused to issue a stay order on its release.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while campaigning in Bellary, Karnataka, recently spoke about the Hindi film ‘The Kerala Story.’ He alleged that the Congress was attempting to ban the movie. He praised the film for exposing the new face of terrorism in society, where terrorists are hollowing out society from the inside.
PM Modi accused the Congress of always banning things and ignoring development. He also accused the party of supporting terror outfits. He questioned the party’s ability to protect the country from terrorism and asked if they could protect Karnataka.
PM Modi has been campaigning extensively in Karnataka ahead of the assembly elections on May 10. He is expected to cover 17 constituencies in Bengaluru alone during a two-day road show spanning over 30 kilometers.
Meanwhile, a group of petitioners approached the Kerala High Court seeking to stay the release of ‘The Kerala Story,’ which hit theaters on Friday. The court refused to issue a stay order on the film’s release, stating that there was nothing offensive to any particular community in it.
The bench comprising Justice N Nagaresh and Justice Mohammed Nias CP, which considered the matter, watched the movie trailer before refusing to stay its screenings. Justice Nagaresh asked the petitioners what was there in the film that was against Islam. He noted that there was no allegation against a religion, but only against the organization ISIS.