Tumbbad Movie Review by Shamik Dasgupta

Tumbbad Movie Review by Shamik Dasgupta



So finally I watched it after a long struggle to get appropriate showtimes and theater in Kolkata where 5 simultaneous Bengali movie releases blocked all the shows in the theaters.

Tumbbad is unlike anything we have ever seen in Indian cinema.

Hats off to the director/producer/actors to pull off something like this and thanks to the who’s who of Bollywood to shower accolades on such a film which will and has got it tremendous word of mouth publicity. To begin with I would like to say Tumbbad is not a conventional horror film, rather I would call it a dark adult fantasy. The two clear influences we see in the film are H.P Lovecraft and Guellermo Del Toro and yet it is intrinsically Indian and original to the core.


This is how Indian cinema will get noticed in world platform. The mythology is fresh and new without any unnecessary ties to our Hindu culture, the production quality is truly epic. From the beginning the film throws us in an uncomfortable space (in a good way) with dim tones, constant rain pouring, colossal old structures and a desolate and epic landscape. The cinematography and production design is truly world class and takes us to that bygone mythical era. The fear of isolation and unknown immediately invades our minds and the visual of an old dying man being jerked off by his mistress/wife as he tells her that she must earn that gold coin with her service pushes the boundaries of familiarity. The terror of the old undying woman shackled in a room and the threat she poses, reminds us of a famous Stephen King story called Gramma. The massive gates of the foreboding Wada (castle/palace), the burning pyre beside the lonesome river, and the lonely oxcart in the stormy night creates visuals which will remain with you for long. The story though intriguing remains mostly predictable but still you enjoy the ride all through. Sohum Shah has given an award winning performance, his smoldering blue eyes, his confident swagger in the beginning and slowly transforming into the fatigue of a man deep in debauchery and hedonism is brilliant. I won’t say much about the drawing attraction of the film Hastar (to not to fall in spoiler zone) and although the design is probably not the most original we have seen, it is certainly one of the most well done movie monster in Hindi cinema. However my only gripe is rather than going all CG they should have hired a performer like Javier Botet (Mamma, Crimson Peak, REC) or Doug Jones (Pan’s Labyrinth, The Shape of Water) and gave him prosthetics and added CG for face. I am sure there are physical specimens like them in the Indian performing community as well. The CG looked quite fake in some parts and the visceral terror of the demon god diminishes. On the whole, Tumbbad is not a crowd pleaser like Stree (Another fantastic horror movie) but the sheer ambition of the makers has given this film a special place in Indian cinema history. Kudos to Rahi Anil Barve for this special gift to horror and fantasy lovers of India. Now give us a sequel quickly!

About Shamik Dasgupta (Source – http://celebrationweek.in):

Shamik Dasgupta: born August 28, 1982 in Calcutta is an Indian comic book writer. He has done work for Virgin Comics, specifically for Ramayan 3392 A.D.[1] a series based on the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana and set in a distant future. He has also written a one shot horror graphic novel called Virulents. He was the editor in chief of Arkin Comics, a popular comic book company of 2008. In 2011 he wrote several comic series like Daksh, Yumi and Old School with Level 10 Entertainment (presently Nihodo Media) and a futuristic sci-fi series ‘The Legends of Aveon 9’ with Rovolt. In 2012 he started working on a graphic novel named ‘The Caravan’ for Yali Dream Creations. This was released in 2013. The Caravan is a horror graphic novel written by Shamik Dasgupta. Dasgupta described it as “a classic horror/action/adventure in the trend of From Dusk till Dawn and 30 Days of Night copiously coated with spicy Bollywood masala.” For the same publisher, he did the graphic novel adaptation ‘Devi Chaudhurani’, which was originally written by Bankim Chandra Chatterji. In 2014 Dasgupta continued the legend of The Caravan with a 4 part series called ‘The Caravan: Blood War.’ which serves as a prequel, origin story of the vampires in The Caravan. Simultaneously Dasgupta has worked on the critically acclaimed series Taranath Tantrik: City of Sorrow, which tells the story of a supernatural investigator in the city of Kolkata published by Speechbubble Entertainment. Presently Dasgupta, working full time with Yali Dream Creations as their Creative Director is working on three titles simultaneously, Rakshak: A brand new vigilante Superhero in India, The Caravan Vengenace: The much awaited sequel of the Caravan graphic novel, and The Village: Another survival horror with a twist in the tale. Apart from that Shamik is also continuing on Taranath Tantrik’s next adventure called ‘Dark beneath the Lights.’

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