The Kerala Story has run into controversy before its release. The film is already facing flak from multiple sections, the CM of Kerala has called it a propoganda film by
I see it as a film on Indian girls who have gone missing. And as far as I know no one is denying that they went missing. Time magazine has also covered it as an international topic of women being recruited in ISIS from all over the world.
It is an international issue. It isn’t just happening in India. Whatever we call it, we all agree that it’s happening and that’s why the film is gathering more and more support, day by day.
How did you prepare for the film? What was the brief given to you by director
Since I am a woman, I have the sensitivity to feel the pain of another woman. I channelled that after reading accounts from years of research by Sudipto sir and his team. They meet the victims. Our film isn’t against any religion, it is against terrorism. It’s not religion versus religion, its way bigger than that. It’s terrorism versus humanity.
Do you play a Hindu girl who gets converted to
The reason she gets converted is to serve ISIS i.e. become a sex slave or a suicide bomber and/or produce a child, which if male can also become a terrorist. And if the child is a female there are many options, her body can serve a purpose which is all shown in the film.
It has been alleged that the film is about Love Jihad. What’s your comment on that?
Our film is about life and death.
Did you meet any of the girls whose lives have inspired the film? How did they react when you told them about the film?
Yes I did. They knew I was doing the film before I knew I was doing it. Our director had told them. They were very happy that someone was finally telling their story, which others had dismissed by denying it’s existence. That’s because it’s too uncomfortable for them to address.
The voices that are demanding a ban on your film are growing each day. What’s your take?
The audience now a days re-checks facts and since everything is available in the public domain, there are accounts of the missing girls, of parents of girls who were drugged, brainwashed and raped. The voices in support of the film are obviously way louder than the voices against it, which is again available for all to see. We live in a country where we have freedom of thought and speech unlike a place my character was taken to in the film.
What do you have to say about the political backlash to The Kerala Story?
Many seniors people in high posts have commented on The Kerala Story after watching the 2 minute trailer. My parents have always asked me to respect my elders so with due respect to all of them, I hope they can take 2 hours out of their busy schedule and watch the movie. I’m sure they will see that we haven’t shown the state of Kerala in any derogatory light.