24 May 2023, Mumbai: When ‘The Kerala Story’ hit theaters, it made waves at the box office with its exploration of religious conversions, the ISIS, and the stories of three women. However, after crossing the impressive Rs 200-crore mark, the film recently faced a significant drop in collections, marking its lowest earnings to date.
Box Office Success and Recent Decline
‘The Kerala Story’ released on May 5 amidst controversies but managed to perform exceptionally well at the box office. It achieved the milestone of crossing the Rs 200-crore club by its 18th day. However, on its 19th day, the film experienced a sharp decline, earning just Rs 4 crore, which is its lowest collection so far. The total collection now stands at Rs 207.47 crore. Adah Sharma’s starrer witnessed a substantial drop in ticket sales and had an occupancy rate of 13.84 percent in the Hindi version on May 23. Directed by Sudipto Sen, ‘The Kerala Story’ gained attention due to its controversial subject matter. The film focuses on forced conversions and the recruitment of Kerala women by the ISIS. It also sheds light on the ‘Love Jihad’ propaganda. The movie faced backlash, with a petition filed against it for promoting hate speech and propaganda. It received criticism from political leaders who disputed the authenticity of the storyline and claimed that the mentioned number of 32,000 missing women was fabricated.
Adah Sharma’s Impactful Role
Actress Adah Sharma plays Fathima Ba, a Hindu Malayali nurse, in ‘The Kerala Story.’ Her character represents one of the thousands of women who went missing from Kerala and were coerced into joining the ISIS after being forced to convert to Islam. The film also aims to address the issue of ‘Love Jihad,’ where Hindu girls are allegedly manipulated by Muslim men into conversion and abandoning their families. ‘The Kerala Story’ embarked on a successful box office journey, amassing over Rs 200 crore within 18 days of its release. However, the film experienced a significant decline in collections on its 19th day, raising questions about its long-term success. Despite the controversies and criticisms, the film continues to generate discussions around sensitive topics, sparking conversations about religious conversions, terrorism, and social issues. As the film progresses in its theatrical run, it remains to be seen how it will fare in the face of ongoing controversies and varying audience reception.
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By Yashika Desai.