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How The Kashmir Files Became The Biggest Hindi Film Post-Pandemic – Politics or Not! | Explained

The Kashmir Files is now running at a collection of beyond Rs 200 crore at the Indian box office alone. For a film that opened at Rs 3.55 crore, this is a massive success. Here are 5 points to explain how this Vivek Agnihotri-directorial managed to achieve this feat in just 13 days straight.

Published: March 25, 2022 7:52 AM IST

By Vineeta Kumar

How The Kashmir Files Became The Biggest Hindi Film Post-Pandemic - Politics or Not! | Explained
How The Kashmir Files Became The Biggest Hindi Film Post-Pandemic - Politics or Not! | Explained (Photo Created by Vineeta Kumar for

Decoding The Kashmir Files Success: The Kashmir Files has become the biggest Hindi film in the post-pandemic world today. The Vivek Agnihotri-directorial has done what the most dynamic of Hindi films with the most popular star cast and never-ending promotional campaigns are unable to do. This, in just two weeks – 13 days straight. Now, this kind of success is not a miracle. It is not a planned riot at the Box Office. This is the result of the audience’s strength and lessons that most filmmakers forget while choosing a story.

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Check the 13-day Box Office breakup of The Kashmir Files in India:

  • Friday: Rs 3.55 crore
  • Saturday: Rs 8.50 crore
  • Sunday: Rs 15.10 crore
  • Monday: Rs 15.05 crore
  • Tuesday: Rs 18 crore
  • Wednesday: Rs 19.05 crore
  • Thursday: Rs 18.05 crore
  • Friday: Rs 19.15 crore
  • Saturday: Rs 24.80 crore
  • Sunday: Rs 26.20 crore
  • Monday: Rs 12.40 crore
  • Tuesday: Rs 10.25 crore
  • Wednesday: Rs 10.03 crore
    Total: Rs 200.13 crore (nett)

Not actors, but real victims telling the story

The Kashmir Files features two actors who have lived the story it is based on – the 1990 Kashmiri Pandit Genocide. Both Anupam Kher and Bhasha Sumbli belong to the community that faced genocide in the January of 1990 in the valley. The reality of their own tragedy is bound to transcend in their performances that in turn makes their relationship with the audience even stronger. When Kher, who’s working in the industry for over 37 years, tells you that this is his story and it needs to be told, you sit up, take notice and listen carefully. You did that with The Kashmir Files!

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Not mincing any word

Another very interesting thing that has contributed to the film’s massive success is the clear pitching made by the makers, especially director Vivek Agnihotri. None of the people associated with The Kashmir Files tried to sell it under the banner of a massy commercial cinema or boxed it in any other sort of cinema space. All they ever said is that ‘this is the truth.’ All they ever did was be honest with what their film stands for and what kind of audience does it appeal to. No promotional gimmicks, no Instagram reels or dramatic fictional conversations but a straight dialogue discussing the politics of the film and the core of the incident! Even in the pre-release interviews, the team of the film didn’t indulge in any run-of-the-mill strategies.

Are you an aware citizen? Guess not!

The audience likes to be teased with a story. This time, as The Kashmir Files took over, the makers put a question in front of the audience – why didn’t you know about the genocide before? The incident is not something that has been written way back in Indian history. It’s fresh and still very young. So when the makers give the audience something to think about, a story that makes them wonder and question their own claims of being an aware citizen, they tend to listen more.

Humanity at worst, emotions at best!

The Kashmir Files, with all its politics and reality, is a film that appeals to emotions. A human story is always more relatable, and therefore, easier to understand. A story that shows people dying and an attempt of wiping off an entire community is bound to make the audience go emotional because it’s coming from between them, is about one of their own and speaks to all. Emotions are the universal language and the makers used the same language to speak to the masses. No strategy can ever be more successful!

A story from the ’90s, not from the forgotten pages of the history

This story is topical. The incident didn’t take place during the era of the kings and the invaders, it happened when most of the viewers watching The Kashmir Files were still young and aware of what was happening around them. For them to question themselves – ‘why I don’t know about this’ or ‘what was I doing when this happened’ – is almost like treating themselves as part of the story that’s unfolding on-screen. Further, it suits the political climate of the country no matter how much you avoid talking about its politics.

The biggest takeaway from the success of The Kashmir Files is to never ever dodge the audience’s word-of-mouth. Their faith in a certain story is the best factor gauging any film’s success, real story or not! The blockbusters are not created by the makers, they are made by the audience!

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