'Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed' a quote by Mahatma Gandhi is how the film opens up, laced with a hint that it's clearly exhibiting a tale of greed. The director trio Rahi Anil Barve, Anand Gandhi, Adesh Prasad has helmed this flawless eeriest film, but its heart is its magnificent story reigning around the plot of an unheard chapter in Indian mythology. 'Hastar' the god of greed is expunged from every mythological mention resonating to be a demigod. 'Tumbbad' is the only place on earth where the people worship 'Hastar' and hence the manor is cursed with dense rains and storm as the myth refers it to be.
It is the ancestral mansion of a Brahmin family termed as 'Wada' in the right Marathi diction which is the major backdrop of this horror flick. The film whirls around three vintage phases 1913, 1930's and independence India 1947 and these tiny details literally take us back in time. The central character of the film is played by Sohum Shah as the narrative explodes right from his childhood where he is always curious about the treasure hidden in the chest of his ancestral dwelling. Without ruining away much of your theatrical experience with spoilers, we would keep the story-line mysterious as the film is and its for you to unfold it witnessing some horrendous spine-chilling moments where one could barelykeep their eyes open and see.
'Tumbbad' is much more than a feature film and to be specific its a revolution in Bollywood which is not reckoned to deliver quality horror films. A genre-defining piece with the very right story, strong plot, thrilling moments and a mystery that unfolds in the second half. Right from the start to its climax every scene has hooked us up and we barely blink an eye watching this art house creation. Absolutely cinematic, cringy, spine-chilling and more importantly 'thought-provoking'.
Sohum Shah has most of the screen time and his character development is constructed carefully with minute details, right dialect and strong behavioural features that reflect his lust and greed. Anita Date plays his innocent caring wife who has a patriotic heart which is showcased precisely. Ronjini Chakraborty had an impactful cameo to play. My God! These kids have acted so scintillatingly both the childhood character of Sohum Shah as well as his son.
Critically, the film is impeccable and clinquant going by the technical aspects that make it a strong contender in any reputed film festivals across the globe. It even has the potential to show up at the Academy Awards. The film was first screened at the 75th Venice International Film Festival and went on to premiere at the 2018 Fantastic Fest and the El Gouna Film Festival and it was lauded by the international critics who claimed it to be one of the finest creations in the horror genre.
The demon from the dark haunts you, a euphonious choir as the background score suiting the narrative of the film intrigues you and yes credit goes to Jesper Kyd who has laid the music of this film, visually appealing cinematography by Pankaj Kumar is majestic, picturesque, entwining and a true treat to be honest. The film's writing and execution are the aspects what it thoroughly stands for and let's take a moment to applaud debutant director Rahi Anil Barve who made an astonishing entry with 'Tumbbad'. After acclaimed 'Ship of Thesus' duo of Sohum Shah and Anand Gandhi is back delivering an out of the world piece. Associate director Anand has co-written the film along with Rahil and Adesh Prasad and the credit for establishing such a crisp screenplay goes to all of them.
The costume design and the production design team is like the soul of this flick. Absolutely sensational and superbly immersive with nitty-gritty details with the right authentic elements in the right place. Finally, horror fans would get their dues.
Yes, Tumbbad is tailor-made for you. A not to be missed film setting up a benchmark already. Go For it!