Thursday, July 18, 2024

The Kerala Story: A Review

Priyal Dholakia – Enigmatic Horizon Staff (Assistant Editor)

A film that will stir you, move you, and compel you to think about the perils of religious extremism

“The Kerala Story” is a film that has been the talk of the town for quite some time now. It is based on the sensitive issue of how young non-Muslim girls from Kerala are being wrongly lured and recruited into the ISIS forces. The film brings some hard-hitting stories to the fore and has created a stir among audiences since its release. So, is the movie worth a watch, or should you skip reserving a seat? Let us explore and find out in this detailed review.

The film follows the story of three nursing students in Kerala who are being brainwashed into thinking that their religion is no good and that they should adopt Islam. The girls are swindled into a game of false love and lopsided logic. They are eventually trapped in a heinous conversion racket of sorts. The movie goes on to show how such girls are soon transported to ISIS base camps in either Syria or Yemen, where they are exposed to trafficking or other unlawful activities and are subjected to grave brutalities.

The direction, screenplay, and cinematography of the movie are quite nuanced. The film shuffles between alternating portrayals of Kerala’s scenic beauty and grim shots of terror camps in Afghanistan’s desert. By doing so, it draws a stark contrast between the rich cultural heritage of Kerala and the unfortunate reality of religious extremist forces. The cast has also delivered convincing performances that keep us hooked till the end. The overall tone of the film stands apart from typical Bollywood movies. Though the background music and songs are used sparingly, they are effective in driving home the film’s core message.

The movie contains some unsettling scenes and spine-chilling sequences that may be hard to stomach for people who are disinclined toward viewing sensitive content. But having said that, the movie has been made in an uncompromising manner, and its narrations are sure to move you in some places. The premise of the film demands that the audience be emotionally invested and engaged in its plot.

The Final Word:

The film offers a thought-provoking take on the large number of religious conversions taking place in Kerala and how they are impacting a wide number of naïve girls from the state. It serves as a poignant wake-up call to address the dangers of extremism and how to save young girls from falling into the trap. The movie may prove intense for some viewers. But anyone interested in understanding the risks of fanaticism should go for it.

Rating: 3.5/5

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