The Kerala Story Movie (2023) Cast, Release Date, Story, Budget, Collection, Poster, Trailer, Review

The Kerala Story

May 5, 2023
2hr 18min
Status: released

Trailer, Teaser & Videos

Poster & Photos

Where to Watch The Kerala Story (Stream)

No streaming services available.

The Kerala Story Movie Details:

Country India
Language Hindi
Release date5 May 2023
Running time2hr 18min
StarringAdah Sharma
Yogita Bihani
Sonia Balani
Siddhi Idnani
Directed by Sudipto Sen
Written byVipul Amrutlal Shah
Suryapal Singh
Sudipto Sen
Produced byVipul Amrutlal Shah
Cinematography by Prasantanu Mohapatra
Edited by Sanjay Sharma
Music byViresh Sreevalsa
Bishakh Jyoti
Production CompanySunshine Pictures

The Kerala Story Movie Cast & Characters:

  • Adah Sharma as Shalini Unnikrishnan / Fatima Ba
  • Yogita Bihani as Nimah Mathews
  • Sonia Balani as Asifa Ba
  • Siddhi Idnani as Geethanjali Menon / Anisha Ba
  • Devadarshini as Shalini’s mother
  • Vijay Krishna as Ishak
  • Pranay Pachauri as Rameez
  • Pranav Misshra as Abdul
  • Pranali Ghogare as Shaziya


Shalini Unnikrishnan, a woman who converted to Islam, shares her journey of aspiring to become a nurse, only to be coerced by extremist Muslims in her college who posed as friends. She was eventually manipulated into joining the ISIS and ended up imprisoned in Afghanistan.

The Kerala Story Movie Budget & Box Office Collection:

Budget₹15–20 crore
Worldwide Collection₹303.97 crore

About The Kerala Story Movie:

The Kerala Story is a Hindi drama film directed by Sudipto Sen and produced by Vipul Amrutlal Shah. It stars Adah Sharma, Yogita Bihani, Sonia Balani, and Siddhi Idnani.

The Kerala Story was heavily promoted by the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which leveraged the film in its campaigning for the Karnataka assembly election. However, film critics accorded it overwhelmingly negative reviews, characterizing the work as Islamophobic propaganda.

The film has also faced protracted litigation and protests, primarily in Kerala, West Bengal, and Tamil Nadu.

The film was produced by Vipul Amrutlal Shah, who is also the creative director of the film.

The Kerala Story was released in theatres on 5 May 2023. With a worldwide gross of ₹303.97 crore (US$38 million), it became the fifth-highest-grossing Hindi film of 2023.

Premise and factual accuracy

The teaser released on 3 November 2022, featured the character of Fathima Ba, a Hindu Malayali nurse who had converted to Islam and joined ISIS, before ending up in an Afghan jail. She claimed to be one of 32,000 girls from the Hindu and Christian communities, who are missing from Kerala and have been recruited into the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) after being converted to Islam. Sen, the director of the film, has made such claims for years. In 2018, he directed a documentary on what he claimed to be the involuntary mass conversion of 32,000 Hindu and Christian girls to Islam as part of an “international conspiracy” to render Kerala an Islamic state.

While the events portrayed in the film are loosely based on the accounts of three women from Kerala, namely: Nimisha Nair, Sonia Sebastian, and Merin Jacob, who converted to Islam and traveled with their respective husbands to Afghanistan to join ISIS between 2016 and 2018, the claimed figures in the film are wildly inaccurate, being based on mistranslations, misquotes, and misrepresentations of unrelated statistics. No more than 100-200 Indians have joined the group from the entire country, with people from Kerala accounting for less than a quarter of them. The figures posited in the film also exceed the entire strength of ISIS.

Later, in response to litigation, the filmmakers removed all promotional materials, including the teaser, that had the erroneous figure. However, the film repeated the claims multiple times and once raised it even higher to 50,000. In response to further litigation, Sen admitted to all figures in the film being inauthentic, and that the film was a “fictionalized” portrayal of real-life events.