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The Kerala Story: Karnataka proves hospitable for Adah Sharma's controversial film

Although the film has faced stiff backlash from the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the Karnataka box office has turned out to be conducive for the Sudipto Sen film

The Kerala Story: Karnataka proves hospitable for Adah Sharma's controversial film
Adah Sharma in 'The Kerala Story'
  • Team OTTplay

Last Updated: 09.51 AM, May 07, 2023

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Polarizing cinema continues to overwhelm the box office as Sudipto Sen's The Kerala Story becomes the latest addition to this rather contentious list. The film opened in theatres on May 5 amid tremendous hysteria as it promised to present and reveal harsh truths about the alleged Islamic conversion prevailing in the state of Kerala.

The Kerala Story follows a small group of women from Kerala who are shown to be first obligated to convert to Islam and are then recruited into the militant organization ISIS. The film courted controversy for its factual inaccuracy with several local and national political organizations claiming that it represents propaganda to malign and vilify the entire Muslim community. Screenings in the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu have been banned in several areas following the backlash, citing potential law & order issues.

However, the state neighbouring state of Karnataka has proven to be quite hospitable for the theatrical run of The Kerala Story. Despite the stiff competition offered by films like 2018, Ugram, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and Ponniyin Selvan 2, the Sudipto Sen film has held its ground and shown steady improvement at the box office. Although the Adah Sharma starrer has received 'pan-India' status with three dubbed versions (Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam), the original Hindi version is the sole contender at the Karnataka box office; as per the latest trade reports, the film has fared exceedingly well so far.

Reportedly, The Kerala Story has close to 210 shows to its name in Bengaluru alone (on Sunday) with more than 50% of them ending up houseful. The word-of-mouth publicity, along with the 'controversy' tag & the flammable content, has surely been aiding the film in its ongoing progress and one can expect the numbers to only improve. 

The Tovino Thomas-led film 2018, too, has emerged a frontrunner in this fascinating box office battle and it would be interesting to see which of the two 'Kerala stories' yield better results. As per recent box office reports, The Kerala Story is set to close the opening weekend with close to Rs. 40 crores (gross).