India, 19th century: on the outskirts of a decrepit village called Tumbbad lives Vinayak, the stubborn, conniving bastard son of the village lord, obsessed with a mythical ancestral treasure. He suspects the secret lies with his great-grandmother, a cursed witch. Confronting her finally puts him face to face with the guardian of the treasure, an evil fallen god. What starts with a few gold coins, quickly spirals into a reckless, perpetual yearning spanning decade. As Vinayak’s greed escalates, it all comes crashing together in an epic reckoning.Wikipedia
Debutant director Rahi Anil Barve has a distinct voice. Tumbbad is a gorgeous looking, intriguing morality tale which both entrances and repulses: it’s not something I will forget.
The story becomes exasperatingly concentric, as Vinayak gets addicted to narrow escapes and keeps going back to the temple for more. The film thus finds itself in a loop as we see it play out for over thirty years, a short story told by a longform narrator. I marvelled at things, but also yawned.
Tumbbad is inspired by the works of Marathi horror writer Narayan Dharap. At the screening I was at, someone during the interval remarked, “It seems like a Marathi film.” I don’t know how he meant it but I take that as a compliment because even though the language spoken is Hindi, the atmosphere of the Konkan is so rich and the period details so well executed, that you feel it’s Marathi.I left the theatre with images swirling in my head and a few questions that the film doesn’t answer. Which is not a bad thing.
The film is intriguing, sometimes even absurd, but you’ll glide through its 104-minute duration. Tumbbad’s biggest success is that it doesn’t confine to any popular genre. It offers something new and that’s enough.
Tumbbad is miles above the average Indian fantasy-horror film in terms of both sophistication and vision.
What seemed missing in Tumbbad was that screwiness, that kinkiness, which shades so many of our best parables...
Tumbbad is a moody and atmospheric film. Some viewers may find the film a little too deep and disturbing, but fans of Hollywood horror films will be reminded of memorable movies in the genre like Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) and Eraserhead (1977). This one is genuinely scary.
The rain never stops in Rahi Anil Barve’s “Tumbbad”. It pelts the ground relentlessly, rendering everything else insignificant and giving the film an eerie atmosphere and a sense of foreboding. This gloom is what gives the film its best attribute – atmospherics. Barve’s film is redolent with a texture and detail that is rare in Indian films.
Tumbbad is one magnificent looking film. A dark fusion of horror, fantasy, drama and thriller – the story of Tumbbad is surely to haunt your thoughts even after you leave the cinema hall. A treat for the lovers of this genre.
TUMBBAD rests on a unique concept but the disjointed narrative spoils the show. It’ll be a challenge for this film to impress the masses and hence struggle to do good business at the box office.
...an artsy, gutsy mix of mythology, history, horror, and moral science. Do these elements seamlessly add up for you to naturally feel for the characters in the story? Honestly, no. Does the incredibly strong visual craftsmanship (rare for an Indian indie) satisfyingly guide you into a world hitherto unseen/unknown? Oh, absolutely.
Ship of Theseus team redefines horror with this genre-defying folksy fantasy flick...
Tumbbad is a class-appealing horror film meant for the big cities mainly. Its poor start is a minus point.
You will never see anything like 'Tumbbad' again...Co-directors Anand Gandhi and Rahi Anil Barve have dared to enter a world that on paper seems impossible to render visually. Yet, they`ve done it!
A visually rich blend of fear and folklore...‘Tumbbad ‘ is a technically accomplished and edgy home-grown horror fantasy
What doesn’t kill you, makes you more resilient. And if you survive the version of Beelzebub in this film, you surely have the liver for heart-pounding horror.
Audience Reviews for Tumbbad
Tumbbad made me sit up from my chair and take notice at how a thriller can be told without resorting to cheap tricks that are prevalent in other titles coming out of the Hindi film industry in recent times. Sohum Shah produces and acts in this fantastic narration of the quality of greed in humans using a folklore about a mythological god-like creature that is itself a symbol of greed. Based on and named after a village in Western India, Tumbbad is told in a way that captures your attention from the first frame and does not let you stray. With some quality performances and an electric background score by none other than Jesper Kyd (I was in tears when I saw his name in the credits), the horror thriller depends on the folklore to carve a story that emphasizes humanity's greed for everything - from money to food to exclusivity. The amount of references it throws at you - as a period drama set in pre-independence India - is further bound to fascinate you while you get embroiled in one man's (Shah) quest for greed which he hopes to pass down to his future generations. Tumbbad is nothing like you have seen before and it should be seen on the big screen and revered for its creative art. TN.
Tumbad is an Awesome movie.. A different story line.. The director has taken horror movie to a different level. A unique type of scary movie.. Enjoyed a lot.. worth watching..
Very good ambient horror in Bollywood.
I'm given 8/10 for this film .