‘Tumbbad’ Movie Review: This is a movie that fails to give you the chills but keeps you engrossed

Directed by: Rahi Anil Barve, Anand Gandhi
Produced by: Colour Yellow Productions and Eros International
Cast: Sohum Shah, Harish Khanna, Anita Date
Duration: 1 hour 44 minutes
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 3/5

First things first, this does not pass off as a horror movie. There are hardly any scenes where you fear paranormal presence, so if you were planning to watch it with that expectation, please don’t. That said, it’s not a bad film. Taut direction and restrained performances elevate a predictable script, and you get a movie that tastes unique. Indeed, if you’re sick and tired of your usual Bollywood fare and want to watch something experimental then this movie will definitely float your boat.

It’s a mystery movie with a slight dose of jump scares. It also has a major mythological backdrop that seems a tad convenient. It’s set in a small village called Tumbbad, which has a hidden treasure chest. Vinayak Rao, a child, tries his level best to unearth it but his efforts are laid to dust by his mother. Vinayak believes that the only person who knows where the treasure is hidden is his grandmother – a creature so ghastly, you won’t be able to eat your samosa after seeing her. She has a monstrous face and is incapable of doing anything other than eating and sleeping.

Due to a family tragedy, Vinayak and his mother have to leave Tumbbad. Still, the treasure is at the back of Vinayak’s mind and he returns as a fully grown adult. This is where his life takes a turn, and revealing further would be akin to giving spoilers.

Performance wise, Sohum Shah doesn’t put a foot wrong and the child actors bring their A-game too. Shah manages to play the greedy treasure hunter and the decadent man with panache. A lot of his scenes are not dialogue heavy, he doesn’t have a long monologue and yet, through his body language and minimal expressions, he looks completely believable.

The underlying message of the movie is that we should be satisfied with what we have and not be too greedy. Excess greed equals doom and it’s imperative for us to know where to draw the line.

Final verdict:

If you were looking for a late night horror show that makes you feel eerie as soon as you step out, you will be disappointed. If you want to see something experimental, then you might want to watch it.

Watch the trailer here: