'The Kerala Story' review: Poor filmmaking bogs down important tale
Riding high on controversies, Sudipto Sen's directorial The Kerala Story (TKS) was released in the theaters on Friday. The makers have claimed that 32,000 Kerala women were converted to Islam and made to join ISIS. His bold attempt at narrating the details of the barbaric crime in a two-hour movie unfortunately falls flat due to various factors including weak acting, dialogue, and music.
Story of how Shalini Unnikrishnan became Fatima Ba
Three nursing students - Shalini, Gitanjali, and Nimah, from Kerala's different parts come to attend college in a town. They become friends with Asifa, marking the beginning of their religious conversion. TKS mainly revolves around Shalini, who is impregnated by Rameez, converted to Islam, and ditched by him only to marry Ishaq. She's further manipulated to join ISIS, landing up as a sex slave.
Adah Sharma's acting seems repetitive
Blame it on her dialogue delivery but Adah Sharma's performance in TKS is a flashback of Commando 2 and Commando 3. In fact, the lighter moments in the film also reminded me of her cameo in Selfiee. The way she narrates her dialogues and the tone of it has always been flat. Even her emotionally challenging scenes weren't heart-moving enough.
A film about gory scenes with weak writing
Can a film not convey its message without showing gory scenes? That's a question you need to ask yourself. Multiple rape scenes (also of a pregnant lady) and the chopping of a woman's hand are the violence you'll see in TKS. The writers could have avoided the horror. Instead, they needed to better their writing to show the cruelty the victims went through.
Gear up for overdoes of fake Malayali accent
One of the weak links of the film is its dialogue delivery. The actors have tried to add a Malayali accent to bring a local touch but their attempt is a complete put-off. Funnily, Yogita Bihani who plays a Christian woman (Nimah) spoke in accented Hindi and English in the first half but forgot to pick up on it again in the second half.
Background score adds no effect to the film
Without any doubt, a background score of a movie adds a lot to the entire film-watching experience but expect nothing like that from TKS. While the songs are boring and non-captivating, the background music for certain scenes, especially those that show the extremism of the Taliban, is poorly done. The music composer should have done a better job.
Meet the team of 'TKS'
Most of the cast of The Kerala Story are newcomers. While Sharma leads the show, she is also joined by Pranay Pachauri as Rameez and Vijay Krishna as Ishaq. Sonia Balani and Siddhi Idnani have joined as Asifa and Gitanjali, respectively. The film has been co-written by Sen and Suryapal Singh while Vipul Amrutlal Shah has joined as the creative director and producer.
Not worth your penny!
The stories of the victims of this inhumane crime needed to be told; Sen and his team deserve a pat for giving a voice to those victims and their families. But that is it! The film didn't have much to offer in terms of technicalities. Given Shah's past successful films, I was expecting good cinema. It gets half a star out of five.Share this timeline