The makers of the contentious Hindi film The Kerala Story made a stop in Kolkata on May 19 to address the city’s media, one day after the Supreme Court overturned the ban on the film’s showing in Bengal.
The film’s sensitive subject matter, potential consequences if screened in the state, and the controversy surrounding it since the day its trailer was posted were all topics that director Sudipto Sen and actress Adah Sharma addressed. The movie’s producer, Vipul Amrutlal Shah, virtually attended the Q&A session that took place at the JW Marriott Kolkata. Sudipto Sen dismissed claims that the movie uses skewed and manipulative facts, and he urged everyone to see it before passing judgement. He expressed his sense of fulfilment with the Supreme Court’s decision to allow the picture to be shown nationwide without alteration or protest to a single frame, scene, or line of speech, with the exception of the addition of a few “legal disclaimers” to the opening titles.
Sen emphasised that the film was the result of eight years of investigation by his team and him, during which time they gathered and validated information, spoke with victims, survivors, and their families in person, and then put it all together in the shape of a narrative for a movie. He added that the movie depicted events that truly happened to real-life teenage girls in Kerala, some of whom were fortunate enough to survive their trauma and were able to recount their gruesome story. We endured a two-month delay, thanks to the Censor Board. In addition to three hours of testimony, we submitted 200 papers to the Borad. They then approved the movie.
Currently, the movie is being screened on 12,000 screens around the nation. Outside of movie theatres, there are no demonstrations. Only non-viewers of the movie are misusing it, says Sen. Adah Sharma also affirmed that she had directly talked with and met the girls whose tales she had shown on television, and she expressed concern that some people were portraying their pain and that of those who had suffered worse outcomes as untrue.Shah said he thought it was “strange” and “shocking” that West Bengal had continued to “defy” the Supreme Court’s ruling by refusing to show the movie. He attacked the decision to outlaw the movie as a failure to stand up for the victims and as a restriction on the freedom and rights of the public to view a movie according to their preference.
Producer of the movie Vipul Amrutlal Shah remarked, “It is regrettable that Bengali cinemas are disobeying the SC ruling. We are going to go to SC once more if necessary. We do not oppose any one faith, but we do oppose terrorism.”
Sudipto stated, “After Supreme Court’s new order, we were so excited,” when speaking to the media during a news conference. We intended to attend the theatre and engage with the public when we arrived in Kolkata. It appears like nothing has altered though. The halls still do not have “The Kerala Story.” This was unexpected by us. I don’t work in politics. Additionally, Adah Sharma is not in politics. Therefore, we genuinely don’t understand why our movie still hasn’t found a hall. This has truly stunned me.
In response to a query, he stated that in both his capacity as a filmmaker and a citizen, he would wholeheartedly support any film that depicts crimes against women committed by any faith. He also clarified that his movie was not anti-religion but rather focused primarily on terrorism. He assuaged concerns that watching the movie would lead to issues with law and order by reiterating that not a single undesirable occurrence has occurred anyplace else in the nation where it has been playing to sold-out audiences for the past two weeks. Finally, the film’s creators emphasised the need to protect children from being misled into terrorism and warn the public about the threat posed by terrorists. We are filmmakers, therefore don’t categorise us into binaries, Shah remarked.
Sen asserted, “CM Mamata Banerjee was against the ban on the film Padmavat while Trinamool Congress MP MahuaMoitra was against the ban on a BBC documentary in the nation. Is West Bengal a distinct nation? It’s not. We have asked Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to see the movie once.
Despite what the top court said, it was unsure when ‘The Kerala Story’ will return to Bengal’s multiplexes because multiplex owners are apparently switching to the newest films in the coming weeks. Several Bengali and Hindi films are currently scheduled for release.