Tumbbad Movie Review 2018: Disturbingly Different

Movie Name
Rahi Anil Barve, Anand Gandhi
Drama , Horror , Thriller
01 hours 53 minutes

Tumbbad Review

The mood's heavy, the skies weep and the remoteness of Tumbbad, a village in Maharashtra, draws you into a faraway world a century ago. With an overture about a goddess, her offspring's greed, selfishness, and punishment, there's a sense of foreboding that begins right away and lingers, like it's sitting on the seat next to you.

Two little Brahmin boys, rain-soaked in an isolated house, await their mother who's servicing the zamindar. Against the same moody sky, when Vinayak Rao, the older brother, breaks open the door and does the cooking on behalf of his mother, he seems so much like he's in charge.

But when he stays back and sends his shivering younger brother to go serve that meal to a scary, bloodthirsty old woman in chains, it's pure selfishness on display.

Soon, Vinayak's obsession with finding the legendary but cursed treasure of Tumbbad haunts the screen. His mother who wants no more of this high-tension treasure chase escapes with him to Pune. But of course, a grown-up Vinayak returns.

Directors Rahi Anil Barve and Adesh Prasad don't have a huge story to tell, as overvaulting greed is what it is in a nutshell. In factit's not one of those stories with everything neatly explained but it is a unique piece of cinema with sub-texts open to multi-interpretations. Are there moments when you dread what's going to happen next? Yes, there are. Like the frightened little boy going with the plate towards the gnarled creature. Or the spooky spirit of Hastar, the goddess' child, that's omnipresent. Still, it's not a conventional horror film though a disturbing unease constantly prevails.

Mood cinema is what Tumbbad really is. It's dominated by colours of blood and brooding, greed and grey, sombre skies with death always around the corner. Credit it to Pankaj Kumar's unrelentingly sinister cinematography.

The lonely landscape and the dankness of the interiors and the exteriors add to the unsettling feeling. It is enhanced by the presence of Sohum Shah as Vinayak whose muscular physique and greedy virility have a taut rawness with a justice-delivered twist in the climax.


  • Dialogues
  • Story
  • Music
  • Screen Play

The Verdict

With all these aces, Tumbbad is still a niche film that will have only certain connoisseurs of cinema applauding it.

For a well-made mix of mystery and myth with limited appeal, Tumbbad gets a 3* rating.


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