'Bookings for the film average': Kerala theatre owners unperturbed over 'The Kerala Story' release

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Thiruvananthapuram/Kochi: Theatre owners in Kerala are unconcerned by the adverse publicity generated by the controversial Hindi film, 'The Kerala Story', which is expected to be shown in around 30 screens across the state on Friday.

Theatres owners said that bookings for the film were average, despite the huge adverse publicity generated by it, but were unmoved over the likelihood of any protests or adverse reactions.

Suresh Shenoy, who runs eight theaters in Kochi including the Shenoy's multiplex, told PTI, "We do not expect any kind of protests against the film. It is unlikely."

He said that the film, which will be screened at the multiplex he owns, has received average bookings as expected from a "small Hindi film like this".

The Kashmir Files, another controversial film that had generated a huge adverse publicity, had started off slow in the state and then went on to become a hit, he recalled.

"Same might happen in this case too. Let us see," Shenoy said.

Joy Pillai, who owns the Arielplex multiplex in Thiruvananthapuram, spoke along similar lines -- unconcerned over protests and average bookings.

"It is a small Hindi film. Post-COVID, turnout for Hindi films has been low. Pathaan was the only exception," he said.

Both Shenoy and Pillai were also of the view that if not for the adverse publicity due to critcism from political parties and organisations, the film would have been ignored generally.

Meanwhile, Mukesh Mehta of E4 Entertainment, which is helping to distribute the film in Kerala, said that the movie would be shown in around 20-30 screens across the state as it is a Hindi film which will not have a big viewer base.

In response to a query as to whether theatre owners were averse to screen the film in view of the opposition to it, especially from certain political parties and organisations, Mehta said no one has been forced or compelled to show the movie in their theatres.

"They are free to show it or not," he said.

On being asked whether anyone has backed out from showing the film, he said he has not received any such communication.

"We will have to wait and see what happens tomorrow. We will only know tomorrow who all will screen the film," he said.

'The Kerala Story', starring Adah Sharma and written and directed by Sudipto Sen, is set to be released in cinemas on May 5.

According to the CPI(M) and the Congress in Kerala, the film falsely claims that 32,000 women got converted and radicalised and were deployed in terror missions in India and the world. PTI

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