Tovino Thomas on The Kerala Story: ‘Don’t let anybody feed misinformation’

Tovino Thomas said that people can show fictional stories in cinema but it was wrong to name the film, The Kerala Story.

tovino thomasTovino Thomas talks about The Kerala Story.

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Actor Tovino Thomas on Monday promoted his latest Malayalam film 2018, based on the 2018 Kerala floods, in Mumbai. At an event, when asked how he feels that people are calling 2018 ‘The Real Kerala Story’, and if he was hurt that The Kerala Story is trying to paint the state in a certain light, Tovino said that because three people are mentioned, it can’t be generalised as the Kerala story.

In an interview with, the actor said, “See, I haven’t watched that movie (The Kerala Story) yet and I haven’t spoken to anyone who has watched the movie. I saw the trailer. Its description said ‘32000 women…’ And then they (the makers) themselves changed it from 32000 to 3. What does that mean? As far as I know there are 35 million people in Kerala and with these three incidents nobody can generalise it. I’ll not deny the fact that this happened in Kerala. This might have happened. I don’t personally know it but I have read it in news. Today whatever we see are not facts, just opinions. On five different channels we see the same news in five different versions. So, I know what is right and what is wrong but I have heard these opinions. So, I’ll not deny the fact that this happened. But three out of 35 million — cannot be generalised and giving misinformation is very bad.”

Tovino Thomas then questioned the makers of The Kerala Story why they used the figure 32000 in the first place. He said, “32000, later they changed it, but in the first place why did they mention 32000? We all know that 32000 was a fake figure, now it has been changed to three. What does that mean? I don’t want to state anything but people will understand. I want people to stop believing blindly. Whatever it is, we all are human beings. We all have the same brain capacity, so stop believing anything blindly. Even if I say something, don’t believe it blindly. Think! You have a brain so think and decide. It is 2023, we are supposed to stop believing blindly and start thinking, rationalising. Don’t let anybody feed misinformation to you.”

Tovino also said that people can show fictional stories in cinema but it was wrong to name the film, The Kerala Story.

“Cinema can be fiction. Nothing wrong in making a fictional movie but naming it The Kerala Story, no that is not the Kerala story. I’ll not admit it, that’s not the story of Kerala. I know that. I am born and raised in Kerala and that is not the Kerala story. I have seen people (suffering, surviving and coming together) in 2018 and that was not 32000 or 3, that was actually millions of people who stood together with love and compassion during the floods. We didn’t see any political parties separating anyone or any religion separating anyone. I just saw human beings staying together and trying to survive and they succeeded.”

Tovino Thomas further shared that cinema is one of the most powerful mediums to give out a message and it should not be misused.

He said, “I think cinema can give out good messages. At least we can try to not give out bad messages. Cinema is an entertainment medium. Entertainment can change people’s minds. If someone is stressed and they get stress relief by watching a movie then I believe that cinema’s purpose is served. Cinema is one of the most influential art forms, one of the most powerful mediums in today’s world. So we have an option to give a very strong message to the audience and that should be taken as a responsibility. Cinema is a much purer form of art. It should not be misused.”

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First published on: 09-05-2023 at 18:28 IST

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