The Kerala Story 'completely factually wrong', has no cinematic value: Film's editor Bina Paul
Despite the meaty numbers in the box office, filmmaker Sudipto Sen's The Kerala Story, which depicts the alleged radicalisation and conversion of young Hindu and Christian women to Islam in Kerala and their recruitment into the terrorist organisation Islamic State or ISIS, had courted controversy over its subject and certain factual claims.
Adding fuel to the debate, The Kerala Story editor Bina Paul has trashed the story calling it "factually wrong" and said it had no cinematic value.
Paul said the film, which earned the highest numbers in the box office in 2023 after Pathaan, was unworthy of attention and it would have died a natural death if people hadn't talked about it.
In a veiled attack on the makers, she said people who are "protected" can get away with any factually wrong work in an atmosphere of impunity.
The Kerala Story's narrative "feeds on certain people's wish for the country", said Paul, who predominantly works in Malayalam films.
The Kerala Story, which stars Adah Sharma in one of the leads, has sparked a political controversy. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has accused the film's makers of promoting the agenda of the Sangh Parivar.
He criticized the film for painting Kerala as a hub of religious extremism and spreading hate propaganda against the state.
The film was released after the Madras High Court rejected a petition seeking a ban on the release of the controversial film.
The high court verdict followed a day after the Supreme Court dismissed a series of appeals, including one filed by the Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind, against the movie's release.
The petitioners claim that the film could incite hatred and hostility in society, and the top court directed them to approach the relevant high court.
While Tamil Nadu and West Bengal are the two states which banned The Kerala Story, the controversial film was made tax-free in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
Though the Calcutta High Court had lifted the ban in West Bengal, the film is rarely screened in the cinema halls of the state.