Ganesh Chaturthi

The Kerala Story going strong at box office, makers defend '32000 conversions' claim in new video

02 June,2023 07:17 PM IST |  Mumbai  |  mid-day online correspondent

The Kerala Story box office: This is the highest fourth week collection post-pandemic for an original Hindi film

The Kerala Story, starring Adah Sharma, is still going strong at the box office in its fourth week

The Kerala Story is going strong at the box office even in its fourth week of release. The Vipul Shah production has recorded an excellent fourth week as collections were over Rs 16 crore nett, according to Box Office India. This is the highest fourth week post-pandemic for an original Hindi film and only behind KGF 2, if all Hindi content is counted. The fourth week numbers are ahead of Shah Rukh Khan's Pathaan, which collected Rs 14 crore nett approx.

Film trade analyst Taran Adarsh shared the latest number of the film's revenue, calling it an all-time blockbuster. "#TheKeralaStory remains the first choice of viewers for the fourth consecutive week… [Week 4] Fri 2.50 cr, Sat 4.25 cr, Sun 4.75 cr, Mon 1.85 cr, Tue 1.80 cr, Wed 1.60 cr, Thu 1.50 cr. Total: ₹ 231.72 cr."

The Kerala Story, which was released in the theaters on May 5, has been doing well at the box office since the beginning. The film, starring Adah Sharma, Yogita Bihani, Siddhi Idnani, and Sonia Balani, became the second-best earner of the year after Shah Rukh Khan's Pathaan with over Rs 200 crore in its kitty.

The film has courted controversy since its release. A section of the audience accused the makers of misrepresentation of facts, and the film faced bans in some parts of the country, too.

The film's creative producer, Vipul Shah, recently explained why they mentioned in the teaser that the film is the story of more than 32,000 women in Kerala who'd allegedly been radicalised by Islamic fundamentalists. The number was later changed to "three" on the order of the Supreme Court. Shah told DNA that the court is yet to decide if their claim was entirely false. While they have given the date of July 18 to the makers to hear the matter, they were told to add the disclaimer in the film.

The makers have now released a video to present their research that led to the figure. In the video, director Sudipto Sen says, "On July 24th, 2010, former Chief Minister of Kerala VS Achyutanandan, at a press meeting in Delhi, had said that Kerala would become a Muslim state in the next 20 years."

Actress Adah Sharma shared the video and wrote, "32000... The truth is not always beautiful. This is for all our supporters who stood with us when we were getting attacked and belittled for exposing the truth. This video is for you who stood up for us when some called The Kerala Story fake, propoganda. This video is for you to show those who divert from the actual issue and say maybe it's happening but the number isn't so large. The truth is the most powerful tool you have."

Adah also shared some BTS pictures from the sets of the film, where her face can be seen bruised and she appears dehydrated. She wrote in her caption, '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' (sic)."

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had objected to the film, saying that "the movie was deliberately produced with the aim of communal polarisation and spreading hate propaganda against Kerala." The Kerala Story was banned in West Bengal but the Supreme Court had stayed the government's order. The film also got a divided response from the film industry and critics. Actors like Kamal Haasan and Naseruddin Shah have recently criticised the film.

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