Sudipto Sen's, despite being in the thick of media scrutiny, has emerged as a major commercial success
'Love' and 'Hate' continue to be the two best-associated terms with The Kerala Story, a film that has been in the thick of media scrutiny right from the beginning. Ahead of its theatrical release on May 5, the teaser and trailer of the Sudipto Sen evoked extreme reactions from its viewers which ranged from angered dissent to impassioned support and everything in between. Criticism mainly stemmed from the fact that the film allegedly misrepresents and vilifies an entire community through jingoistic storytelling and exaggerated statistics, whereas the support it attracted came from those who claimed that the story addresses a huge crisis that's transpiring in the state of Kerala.
And much like in the case of the general public, the film fraternity, too, stood divided on The Kerala Story. Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, who made a similarly 'polarizing' film in 2022 in the form of The Kashmir Files, not only congratulated director Sudipto Sen and his team for their 'brave effort' but also urged everyone associated with the film remain strong and resilient in the face of all the backlash. Director Ram Gopal Varma, though refraining from speaking about the artistic merit of the film, declared the film a 'true pan Indian film' for it includes a Tamil/Malayali actress in the lead (Adah Sharma), a Gujarati film producer (Vipul Amritlal Shah) and a Bengali director (Sen). Anupam Kher and a few other Hindi film actors, too, came forward to appreciate the efforts behind The Kerala Story.
And interestingly, the likes of Anurag Kashyap, Shabana Azmi and others, who vehemently disagreed with the film's messaging, went ahead and advocated for freedom of speech and stated that a film must not be banned at any cost. Their stances attracted a lot of praise.
In this vein, popular Telugu film director Harish Shankar has come forward to share his praise for the team of The Kerala Story, describing the film as 'intense and insane' in his latest social media post.
"The Kerala Story is intense and insane!!!! Great job by @sudiptoSENtlm the spine chilling episodes of ISIS are portrayed in a realistic way kudos to @adah_sharma for literally living the character. Congratulations to entire team for stupendous success!!!" wrote the Ustaad Bhagat Singh director.