"Take movies, music, poetry out of life & its gone!"

TUMBBAD - The overly artistic execution restricts the reach of this must watch ORIGINAL Indian horror film with an important moral lesson. (Review By Bobby Sing)

14 Oct, 2018 | Movie Reviews / 2018 Releases

It’s extremely difficult to explore new avenues, fresh plots and inventive visuals in the Horror genre in particular which more or less survives on clichés and all familiar elements. Plus it’s even more challenging to present such content along with an important moral lesson as found in the famous Indian traditional Jataka Tales or Panchantantra stories, we still remember having read in our school days.

However, a team has amazingly managed to perform the toughest task and that too in an unbelievable style as a praiseworthy amalgamation of Indian mythology, fantasy, horror, a tale of a monster, a treasure hunt and an innocent kid along with a social message in the end forcing you to give it a serious thought.

Directed by Rahi Anil Barve and Adesh Prasad together as a team, TUMBBAD is a rare achievement in Hindi cinema as we have not witnessed any such visual expressions before as a mystery horror film moving far beyond the usual ghosts, spirits, zombies, evil possessions and the repetitive exorcism sequences. It brings you completely fresh images that are simply stunning to watch on the big screen, well supported by an outstanding cinematography, eye-catching colour grading, worth-noticing sound and a remarkable production design (as a period film) creating an unbelievable kind of ambience through only a few characters.
In creative terms, TUMBBAD is an incredible ORIGINAL Indian film in the genre of mystery and horror, setting a new standard of its own with an exceptional visual imagery and a novel storytelling as never seen before.
Set in a coastal village of Maharashtra called Tumbbad, the film travels through three generations of a family beginning from 1918 till a time post the Indian independence. The village or region witnesses rains almost throughout the year and that is the reason many key sequences of the film have the rains in it. The story is about a traditional curse and a demon, which is sure going to be an unheard kind of experience for the young as well as the old without any slightest of doubt. Revolving around just a few characters, it has credible performances from Sohum Shah as the mysterious protagonist and Mohammad Samad as his young son inheriting the same greed from his father. 
Sadly the film has its shortcomings too, which is going to restrict its reach to the general audience as well as the fans of this particular genre.
First of all, it’s the confusing and unusual title of the film, which should have been an easier and more exciting one, for instance - SHRAAP (The Curse). 
Secondly, it takes its own time to clear up the things in the beginning and follows an over-experimental tone that doesn’t grab you from the collar in the first 30 minutes. Actually it all become much clear and one begins understanding the concept after a while and therefore its second half impresses much more than the first one. 
Lastly it also seems as if the film has been specially made for the festival kind of audience, being too artistic right from the beginning, missing the much required instant connect with the end user.
In a few words, I strongly felt that with such a great story to tell, the film should have been less complex in execution stressing more upon the emotional quotient, which is largely absent in its narration. In fact that also hugely affects the reach of its moral message too, which certainly would have been much greater, had the directors established a deep emotional connect between the viewers and the characters suffering on the screen.
Besides, it’s scary only in portions and is more of a mystery horror movie to be exact. But again the mystery element hasn’t been used in an intriguing and suspenseful manner involving the viewers.
Overall, TUMBBAD is undoubtedly a path breaking attempt in Hindi cinema as far as choice of the subject, narration and a novel visual presentation is concerned. The film yet again informs that there is a lot unexplored in our own Indian traditional stories and mythology waiting to be adapted by the well-read writers.
However with a different title, a more emotionally connecting storytelling and a less complex execution (avoiding the strong festival tone), this could have reached the masses winning more hearts and praises for sure.
Having said that, TUMBBAD  essentially needs to be seen in the theaters as a must supporting the new experiments being made in our Indian cinema. But don’t ruin your experience by watching it on your tiny 5 or 17 inches screens as a routine.
Ratings : 3.5 + 0.5 / 5 (with the additional 0.5 for bringing in a completely fresh and creative concept of an original Indian Horror film)

Tags : TUMBBAD Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Hindi Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Bollywood Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing, Indian Horror films, Indian Mystery Films.
14 Oct 2018 / Comments ( 4 )

There are so many gems in indian literature and how I wish this team would have been given all the time and money to bring those stories into cinema!!!

Hats off to the entire team :)

Bobby Sing

Hi Avik,
You are right about the rich content lying unexplored in the Indian Literature.
Hope more stories get found and presented on screen as this fabulous one.
Keep Visiting And Writing in.

pardeep garg

Bobby sir, I will always have special memories of this awesome movie " tumbbad " because of your article....I thank u from the bottom of my heart...Due to hectic schedule at times , it becomes difficult to watch a movie in theatre ( even though it's there on your wishlist & u don't want to miss it watching in theatre ) Same thing happened to me regarding this movie.....Due to some overbusy schedule I missed it watching in theatre at my hometown when it was released...It was there in theatre  for two weeks only ( at my hometown) However your article kept on pushing me to see it in theatre. So I made an effort to travel to a major city where it was being screened at pvr cinemas ( nearest to my hometown ) , stayed there in a hotel ( ' as it was 8 pm show ) and finally had this memorable experience of watching this masterpiece " tumbbad " .It also shows the self-belief, grit & determination of " tumbbad " team to present   such unusual , one of its kind cinema...Hats off to the entire " tumbbad " team...

thanks once again bobby sir

Pardeep Garg (  FB id Seven Notes )

Bobby Sing

Dear Pradeep,
The pleasure is really mine and its really great to know that you made such an effort to watch the film in theater. That is really appreciable as as a true cinema lover. And it is indeed a gem to be experienced in a theater as a must.
Do keep visiting and writing in.

Leave A Comment
E-mail (will not be published)
Website (Optional)
Enter shown code