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  5. The Kashmir Files: Silent success to controversy's child, a complete timeline of Bollywood film's release

The Kashmir Files: Silent success to controversy's child, a complete timeline of Bollywood film's release

The Kashmir Files' success story at the box office has been unlike any. Without any major pre-release buzz or promotions, the movie is trending on par with India's biggest hits of all time. We rewind the film's journey to put things into perspective. 

India TV Entertainment Desk Written by: India TV Entertainment Desk New Delhi Published on: March 22, 2022 14:32 IST
The Kashmir Files
Image Source : TWITTER

The Kashmir Files released on March 11

Highlights

  • The Kashmir Files is inching closer to Rs 200 collections at the box office
  • There have been a section of viewers who have termed the film's narrative as 'biased'
  • The Kashmir Files writer and director have denied claims that film contains 'fictional content'

Movie promotions, a big star cast, song and dance have all been tried and tested formulas for a big box office success. In the Hindi film industry, not many have been able to escape the trappings of a typical commercial entertainer. But with the huge success of The Kashmir Files, the turning point may just be around the corner. The movie sheds light on the exodus of the Hindus from the Kashmir Valley in 1990 and has been on an upward trajectory ever since it hit the screens on March 11. It is on its way to becoming the biggest box office earner during the Covid-19 pandemic and has been getting unprecedented support from the audience.   

Read: Box Office Report: The Kashmir Files is unbeatable while Akshay Kumar's Bachchhan Paandey goes down 

We take a look at the success story that this film has scripted in a span of fewer than two weeks. 

The Kashmir Files trailer is launched

On February 21, The Kashmir Files trailer gave audiences a glimpse of the terror, confusion and sheer panic that consumed Kashmir during the 1990s. Usually, a movie trailer is launched with media fare and soon hashtags begin to trend on social media. With The Kashmir Files, nothing of this sort happened. The trailer was launched on social media platforms and the word was put out. 

Did The Kapil Sharma Show ignore Vivek Agnihotri and his team?

The recent controversy around The Kapil Sharma Show started when The Kashmir Files director Vivek was asked as to why he isn't promoting the film on The Kapil Sharma Show to which he replied saying he wasn't invited to the show given his film doesn't have a 'big commercial star'. This tweet from Vivek landed on March 4. Things escalated from there on and several people on the Internet took to boycotting the show. This ensured that the movie was being discussed on social media, even through Kapil's show.

Read: The Kapil Sharma Show-The Kashmir Files controversy: What Kapil Sharma, Vivek Agnihotri, Anupam Kher said

Ahead of release, film reviews build up buzz

A few days before the film's release, a few screenings were organised in New Delhi and Mumbai. The Kashmiri Pandit community was invited for the shows in large numbers as it narrated their stories. Soon, videos of viewers crying and thanking the film's director Vivek Agnihotri and the cast members began to do the rounds on social media. Simultaneously, some movie reviews hailed it as a hard-hitting film, one that captured the story that was ignored by the mainstream for years. Those who are active on social media started to witness #TheKashmirFiles a couple of days before March 11. 

The Kashmir Files destroys Radhe Shyam

Prabhas' Radhe Shyam, pegged to be a pan-India film, was supposed to overshadow The Kashmir Files, many believed. It was released in about 700 screens initially. When both movies hit the screens, within a day it was clear that the North Indian audience was gravitating towards The Kashmir Files. After a humble opening day of Rs 3.50 crore, its second-day collections were Rs 8.50 crore and it closed its first Sunday with Rs 15.10 crore, a total of Rs 27 crore for the first weekend. From here on, Prabhas' Radhe Shyam was nowhere in sight and The Kashmir Files' collections soared.

Read: Kashmir, Politics & Films: Even 30 yrs later Kashmir Pandits & Muslims' plight remain debatable

The unstoppable box office run 

After the first weekend, it was clear The Kashmir Files was a hit. What was going to happen in the coming days would blow people's minds completely. The movie collections kept rising through the first week. The multiplexes were houseful and the number of shows was raised so that the demand could be met. At present, the film which began with 700 screens is being screened at more than 4000 screens in India. The first week's collections of Rs 97 crore were unprecedented. On the second weekend, it added another Rs 71 crore to its total. The demand for this film has been bigger than Baahubai and Dangal, two of India's biggest hits.

Tax-free status is accorded to The Kashmir Files

'The Kashmir Files gets the political corridors chatting. Soon states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Tripura, Karnataka, Goa, Uttarakhand exempted The Kashmir Files from entertainment tax. 

Read: The Kashmir Files: Uttar Pradesh to Karnataka, list of states which have declared Anupam Kher's film tax-free

Controversies surrounding portrayal

On one hand, there has been nothing but love and support for The Kashmir Files, on the other hand, there has been a section of watchers who have been criticising the presentation. Some have called it 'islamophobic' for showcasing the community in a negative light. Political figures also spoke about the divisive line The Kashmir Files treads. Former Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir Farooq Abdullah said that The Kashmir Files was being made tax free in various states in an attempt to make "people hate us more". 

New Zealand outlet Stuff on Saturday reported that the country's chief censor David Shanks is reviewing the film's R16 classification after concerns were raised by the Muslim community. 

Meanwhile, PM Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath have urged viewers to watch The Kashmir Files and also endorsed the 'version' of events showcased in the film.

The Kashmir Files movie reacts to allegations of false narrative

Co-writer, producer and The Kashmir Files actor Pallavi Joshi quashed claims that the movie shows fictional content. "We shot their long format video interviews and we have those videos that too will bring in front of people... So if there's anybody who is accusing me that I have something wrong in the film, then you can come and see all the 4,000 hours of research that we have on our videos," Pallavi said. 

Read: Pallavi Joshi dismisses rumours claiming 'The Kashmir Files' contains fictional content

Vivek also defended his presentation in the film, writing on Twitter, "Every single incident, political argument, references and ‘friendship over nation’ kind of theories are ABSOLUTELY TRUE. Anyone denying them is either naive, vicious or Truth denier.”

The Kashmir Files gets Bollywood support

Although most of the mainstream actors and film personalities have not spoken in the national media or publicly about The Kashmir Files or its tremendous success, recently Aamir Khan urged everyone to watch the film. Hansal Mehta, R Madhavan, Ram Gopal Varma, Kangana Ranaut, Yami Gautam, Manoj Baypayee, Parineeti Chopra and Akshay Kumar are a few who have spoken well of The Kashmir Files.