10th October 2018 8.45pm at Vue West End
11th October 2018 6.00pm at Vue West End
It’s movies like Tumbbad that make film festivals so brilliant. Foreign features of all shapes and sizes can showcase themselves in front of an audience that may never have dreamt of giving a couple of hours of their precious time. In this case, it is a Hindi Horror that shoots across the screen, and my oh my does directorial debutant Rahi Anil Barve have a surprise in store!
Set over the course of three chapters, the film follows Vinayak (Sohum Shah) across three periods in his life, from childhood in 1918 to mature adulthood in 1947. Growing up in the rural area of Tumbbad, Vinayak and his brother are told tales of great family riches hidden deep inside the walls of their grandfather’s/father’s mansion. They wish to to discover them one day – if they can prise the information out of their decrepit great grandmother, who herself has been cursed with long life by the goddess guarding the treasure. The death of his brother strikes fear into Vinayak’s mother and the family flee Tumbbad. The young boy, however, vows to return one day to retrieve the wealth, but soon finds that the curses that lie upon the gold pose a far greater danger to him and his family than originally anticipated.
Playing up to the stereotype of a Hindi Horror, Tumbbad possesses all of the key features of a delightfully scary film, including immense fear-inducing scenes, whilst also blending moments of sincerity with comic relief. Thanks to the writing of Barve, Mitesh Shah, Adesh Prasad and Anand Gandhi, the film gracefully glides throughout the protagonist’s timeline whilst making sure a strong understanding of the plot is maintained. The persistent fluidity and enchantment of this horror is supported by excellent performances from both Sohum Shah and his onscreen son Mohd Samad, who tackle what could be perceived as inexplicably brilliant subject matter with ease and conviction.
Aside from just an intrepid and engaging storyline, the movie also plays host to a variety of themes and moral messages from which we can take profound guidance. Vinayak is loathed by his family members for his greed, a trait he self-confesses is the greatest he holds, but as his story arc develops we learn that greed can never be sated, and it is this hunger that teaches his son that this want for everything is not the purest way of life – albeit learnt in a rather gruesome fashion. With this, and imaginative cinematography thrown into the mix, Tumbbad can certainly be labelled a success for director Rahi Anil Barve.
Tumbbad does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more reviews and interviews from our London Film Festival 2018 coverage here.
For further information about the festival visit the official BFI website here.
Watch the trailer for Tumbbad here: