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‘The Kerala Story’ Movie Review - A Bold Move

The movie follows a converted Muslim woman Fatima Ba, who narrates her ordeal of how she once wanted to become a nurse but was abducted from her home and turned into an ISIS terrorist

Riya Singh - Tue, 09 May 2023 07:19:00 +0100 3809 Views
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The Kerala Story narrates the movie in three parts: the current scenario (the interrogation by the Syrian officials), how it all started, and what happened to them. It is the story of three friends: Shalini, Geetanjali, and Nimah who went to study at a Nursing College with hopes of securing a good future but fell into the trap of a cell who were actively recruiting women to send them to Syria to work for ISIS. They are either used as prostitutes or are made suicide bombers.

Aasifa is the fourth roommate who persuaded them to accept Islam while using methods like getting them pregnant and sharing her various theories which included insulting other religions. The planning of getting control over these girls was extensive and it took them a year to trap them. I don’t want to reveal the whole plot and know that the audience would love the movie because of its honesty.

Being a girl, it wasn’t easy for me to watch the pain a thousand other women had to go through after being trapped to work for ISIS. It is not just about conversion, but using religion as a means to fulfill bad intentions and instill fear in the mind of the public is wrong. India is a secular country, everyone has the right to decide what they want to believe in but people like Aasifa work with such groups which create circumstances around young girls that end with their conversion. The figure stated might not be accurate but this being happening would be shameful enough.

The film depicts the state of women with no filters and the story touched my heart. The scene in which Geetanjali, Shalini, and Nimah are tortured in the middle of the market with the public standing unbothered is chilling and heartbreaking as we can never think that such extreme measures will be applied to promote terrorism. After this incident, Aasifa brainwashed them to wear hijab stating that they'll be safe in it although they're still Hindus. The men of the same group are told to convert the girls even if they have to make them pregnant.

Sexual abuse shown in the film will shake you as you can’t imagine what these girls had to go through. Taking their children and then forcing these women to have multiple sexual partners is horrible. If one does not convert then what happens to them was a question that came to my mind constantly. When the makers answered the same, I was shocked as this was unimaginable. The pain the family of these girls had to go through and men taking turns raping women, spreading nudes, and forcing them into the habit of taking drugs was painful to watch.

Also, how easily the women are killed upon making small mistakes like applying lipstick or using cell phones makes the audience believe that the terrorist organization is doing everything to control the captured girls. In a scene, we can see a woman buried in the desert with just her head above the sand. When the authorities contact the Indian government there’s no trace of them in records. The impact on the parents of these girls is also shown in the movie.

Comparison between The Kashmir Files and The Kerala Story will be a point of discussion as both cover the topics that are less spoken of but I’d like to draw a line as both of them have expressed their concerns in their manner. Adah Sharma took a bold step to work on the film. I'd like to appreciate the makers that they brought such a bold story on screen. The time and effort put into the movie are visible and the cast has delivered a stellar performance.

Final Score – [8/10]
Reviewed by - Riya Singh
Follow @_riyasinghhh_ on Twitter
Publisher at Midgard Times



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