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Box Office Triumph: The Film That Surpassed Padmaavat and Gadar 2 in Profits

In the first eight months of this year, several Bollywood films have made significant earnings at the box office. Movies like “Gadar 2,” “Pathaan,” “Adipurush,” and “Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani” have proven to be successful ventures. Similarly, in the South Indian film industry, films like “Varisu,” “Ponniyin Selvan 2,” and “Jailer” have struck a chord with the audience. However, despite raking in hundreds of crores, it’s noteworthy that these films were made on massive budgets. This year, a small-budget Bollywood film emerged as a sleeper hit, demonstrating that success isn’t solely determined by astronomical budgets. This film, titled “The Kerala Story,” was made on a modest budget of just 15 crores and managed to earn a staggering 303 crores worldwide.

No Superstar Attached

The remarkable success story revolves around director Sudipto Sen’s “The Kerala Story.” Unlike other blockbusters, this film didn’t feature a superstar in its cast. The film is based on the true stories of women in Kerala who are coerced into adopting Islam and joining ISIS. The lead role is portrayed by Adaa Sharma, who plays a Hindu woman from Kerala that is brainwashed to convert to Islam and sent to Syria. Here, she is forcibly recruited into the terrorist organization ISIS and subjected to torment. The film was produced by Vipul Amritlal Shah.

Alive or Deceased

Before “The Kerala Story,” director Sudipto Sen had created a documentary called “The Name of Love.” The documentary shed light on the fact that over 17,000 girls from Kerala and over 15,000 girls from Hindu and Christian communities in Mangalore were converted to Islam after 2009. Most of these girls were sent to ISIS-controlled regions like Syria and Afghanistan. Whether these girls are alive or deceased remains unknown. “The Kerala Story” ignited controversies due to its sensitive subject matter.

Waiting for OTT Release

Due to the controversies, the film didn’t manage to secure an OTT platform despite its popularity. The film became the highest-grossing film of 2023 amid the turmoil. According to reports, Shah Rukh Khan-starrer “Pathaan” earned around 1,000 crores globally, making it the highest-grossing film of the year. However, its budget was approximately 250 crores. On the other hand, “Gadar 2,” which crossed the 500-crore mark, was made on a budget of around 80 crores. This stark contrast showcases the triumph of “The Kerala Story.”

In conclusion, the success of “The Kerala Story” stands as a testament to the fact that compelling storytelling and impactful performances can triumph over budgetary constraints. This sleeper hit has not only resonated with audiences but has also demonstrated the power of cinema to shed light on important and often overlooked societal issues.