The film had earlier reportedly received a rating above 9 on the popular website that hosts audience reviews for movies and television shows. However, under the “alternate weighting calculation” applied to “preserve the reliability of [IMDb’s] rating system” it now stands at a rating of 8.3/10.
The rating distribution statistics show that 94.5% of people have given the film a 10/10 rating, while 4% gave it a rating of 1 and 0.8% percent of the audience scored it 9/10.
IMDb’s help page states that the portal may apply an alternate weighing calculation when unusual voting activity is detected. “IMDb publishes weighted vote averages rather than raw data averages,” the website states. “The simplest way to explain it is that although we accept and consider all votes received by users, not all votes have the same impact (or ‘weight’) on the final rating.”
“To ensure that our rating mechanism remains effective, we do not disclose the exact method used to generate the rating,” it adds.
Directed by Vivek Agnihotri, The Kashmir Files is based on the exodus of the Kashmiri Pandit community from the Kashmir valley in the 1990s. The film has an ensemble cast comprising of actors Anupam Kher, Mithun Chakraborty, Darshan Kumaar, Pallavi Joshi, Prakash Belawadi, Puneet Issar, and Atul Srivastava, among others.
When the IMDb change was pointed out on Twitter by a user, the director re-tweeted this and wrote that it is “unusual and unethical.”
Meanwhile, the film, which was released on March 11, has been declared tax-free in several BJP-ruled states such as Karnataka, Gujarat, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh. The active promotion of the film by the ruling BJP government and its members has been criticised by some on social media and its use to propagate communal hatred has also been called out on Twitter.
Ahead of the release of The Kashmir Files, PIL was filed at the Bombay High Court by a resident of Uttar Pradesh, seeking to suspend the film’s release. The petitioner had stated that the film had a “very potent mixture of inflammatory scenes which are bound to cause communal violence in the prevailing circumstances in the country.” However, the court refused to halt the film’s release and dismissed the PIL.
Post the film’s release, Mohammed Zubair, co-founder of Alt News, shared several videos of hate speech against the Muslim community in theatres following screenings of The Kashmir Files.