The Kerala Story (2023) Ending Explained – Is Shalini (aka Fatima) sent back to India?

The Kerala Story Plot Summary

The Kerala Story follows the story of three Indian girls, Shalini, Geetanjali and Nimah who fall prey to religious indoctrination by Asifa, a member of an Islamic Organization. Shalini and Geetanjali end up converting to Islam from Hinduism. After Ramiz impregnates Shalini, (now Fatima) and leaves the country, she is forced to marry Ishaaq.

Ishaaq used to be a Catholic man but has now converted to Islam. Shalini is promised to be taken to Syria when the pastor claims that Allah will only forgive her sins in Syria. On her way there, Shalini is first taken to Sri Lanka, where she learns that Geetanjali has commit suicide and Nimah was gang-raped for not converting to Islam from Christianity.

What happens after Shalini/Fatima leaves Sri Lanka?

From Sri Lanka, Shalini is taken to a Pashto village. There, Shalini (as Fatima) starts doubting Ishaaq’s intentions. The two make the journey to Syria through Afghanistan. Shalini is then taken to an ISIS hideout in Afghanistan. Ishaaq starts trying to physically abuse and tame Shalini into complying with him.

Despite her being heavily pregnant, Ishaaq rapes Shalini before leaving for a mission on his own. Shalini is all by herself and tries to escape but witnesses a woman and her husband being brutally punished for breaking Islamic traditions.

A woman named Shazia helps Shalini and takes her home. She tells Fatima that leaving the colony or breaking the laws is punishable and that she’s the commander’s wife. With Ishaaq out on a mission, Shalini delivers a baby girl with the help of the women in the village.

What does Shalini/Fatima do after Ishaaq leaves her alone?

Ishaaq tells her that he was going to Kabul for a mission and leaves her penniless to fend for herself and her baby. Shalini asks for Shazia’s help and manages to send a 30-second voice note to her mother asking the same. The woman that helps Shalini send the message is killed by the troops. Shalini’s message, unfortunately, does not reach her family.

The men from the village tell Shalini that Ishaaq died during the mission. She tries to seek Shazia’s help to escape but the men take Shalini to a training camp. There, they separate Shalini from her daughter and she is further shocked to see that Ishaaq is actually alive.

What happens to Shalini/Fatima in the base camp?

Shalini is placed in a final base camp before being sent to Syria. There, Shalini and other women are sexually assaulted and raped by the men. The women are forced into being sex slaves for the men who are mostly training to be suicide bombers.

Shalini tells two other women that she has finally decided to escape and go to the Irani border alone. She’s sure she’ll find UN troops and soldiers there who will help Shalini and the women return to their families in their home countries.

Does Shalini/Fatima escape the last base camp?

Shalini leads the two women to the border but the Afghani soldiers spot them on their escape. The two women are shot but Shalini manages to get out. She runs as far as she can but eventually passes out.

17 hours after her escape, the UN troops discover Shalini in the desert and she is arrested as a terrorist.

Shalini claims that she’s not a terrorist and shares her story with the military officers. She tells them about Asifa brainwashing her and other women into changing their identities and moving to Syria illegally. The UN troops tell Shalini that she’s a terrorist to India and that she will not be allowed back into the country.

Shalini will have to spend the rest of her life in the UN prison facility for convicted terrorists. She gets the permission to make one last call to her mother in Kerala, India.

How does The Kerala Story end?

Shalini gets on a call with her mother and apologizes. She asks her mother to stop worrying and promises to return to India with her daughter, as soon as she is reunited with the infant. Shalini tries to overcome the Islamic indoctrination that she was brainwashed into and calls herself by her birth name – Shalini Unnikrishnan.

Shalini is finally reunited with her daughter a while after. Meanwhile, Asifa continues her mission with the next group of girls that arrive at the hostel room in Kerala. Other women from many different countries are in the UN prison facility with Shalini, waiting for justice.

The movie ends with testimonies from the real Geetanjali Menon’s parents and the real Nimah Mathew who lives in anonymity in Kerala.


Read More: The Kerala Story (2023) Story Recap

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