Tumbbad (2018) Movie Review
Written By: SR
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Directors: Rahi Anil Barve, Adesh Prasad
Producers: Sohum Shah, Aanand L. Rai, et. al.
Writers: Rahi Anil Barve, Anand Gandhi, et. al.
Date Released: October, 12th, 2018
Sohum Shah as Vinayak Rao
Ronjini Chakraborty as Vinayak’s mistress
Anita Date-Kelkar as Vaidehi; Vinayak’s wife
Jyoti Malshe as Vinayak’s mother
Madhav Hari Joshi as Sarkar
Mohammad Samad as Pandurang
Deepak Dalme as Raghav
Dhundiraj Prabhakar Jogalekar as young Vinayak
Rating = 3/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
In the village of Tumbbad, India lies a Goddess and her hungry son, Hastar. Together, they will grant you wealth and fortune beyond your imagination if you worship them. A mistress begins honouring the Goddess and feeding her dolls made of flour and water. In return, the mistress gains gold coins. As time passes, she longs to escape from the village. But, her other son Vinayak Rao pleads with his mother to stay in Tumbbad and reap the rewards of wealth. However, she declines and they begin a life away from the village. Many years later, Vinayak returns to Tumbbad with an agenda to amass as much wealth as possible. He thrives in a life of luxury surrounded by mistresses. As time goes on, he begins sacrificing people who are close to him in his greed. His young son, sees and begins to learn his father’s ways. The story progresses as the family remains tempted by the wealth. But, the cost of living a good life can be deadly with devastating consequences.
There is only a bit of gore in this film. A notable scene stands out when Vinayak Rao takes his friend Raghav Hastar to be sacrificed. The special effects and real feel VFX in the film are really good. They bring to life the superstitions and mythological creatures with stellar clarity. The greedy son, Hastar, comes to life with exceptional prosthetic craftsmanship. However, the scene which shows a group of Hastars attacking Vinayak is a bit over the top and takes away from the rest of the film.
The Grave Review
Directed by Rahi Anil Barve and Adesh Prasad, Tumbbad (2018) has been the opening film at the Venice International Film Critics’ Week. Tumbbad is divided into three chapters which are planned carefully. The film which begins in 1918 has historical significance and delves into aspects of Indian history. The film hits upon topics such as the countries greed for property and Opium trade which was prevalent during the British era. In addition, the film gains some inspiration from mythology and fictitious references. This emphasizes the issue of wealth and control in the early 20th century. There are even instances of domestic violence and drug abuse throughout the film. Despite the historical context, the film progresses in a slow-paced manner resulting in a lack of tension and thrill. Furthermore, the director attempts to set a pensive and dark tone throughout the film with little success. As a result, the storyline barely manages to be engaging.
All three chapters carefully fit into one cohesive storyline. The story incorporates a consistent theme throughout the film of greed and temptation and how it passes from generation to generation. The characters in this film add to this theme in their own way. On one hand, you have Vinayak’s mother who shys away from the temptation. But, on the other hand, there are other family members who embrace their temptation for wealth at the cost of their family and themselves. Tumbbad (2018) lends itself to the interpretation that wealth doesn’t necessarily lead to happiness and that message is projected throughout the film. Unfortunately, the slow-pace and progression of the film may not be for everyone.
The performances of the cast members were commendable. Each actor and actress was able to express their individual traits and characteristics. Vinayak’s character (played by Sohum Shah) is the consummate vagrant and drug addict. However, his mother symbolizes the wayward woman who finally decides to ‘mend her ways’ and go back to society. There are many other characters who have a varied role in this film, some of which may seem unnecessary. But, unfortunately, Tumbbad tries to create characters which may only be a part of the story for shock value rather than something that adds to the film.
The visual theme and background of the film compliments each other because of the dull and dark visuals. The film has a visual appeal and may even be a thrill for those who enjoy special effects, prosthetic and visual detailing. A good scene is when Hastar displays his fury and attacks his victims. In this regard, the filmmakers have gone above and beyond to create a very impressive display of special effects in this regard.
Overall, I would not recommend this film to everyone. The story was not engaging enough to keep me on the edge of my seat. The scenes of physical abuse, drug use and sex are used to bring a kick to the film without much success. Although, these aspects may nevertheless make some viewers uncomfortable But, for those who are history buffs and willing to endure some uncomfortable scenes, this may be a film for you.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Tumbbad (2018) three graves out of five graves.
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