Tumbbad (2018) - Indian horror at its best
21, December 2020

There is a sufficiency in the world for man's need but not for man's greed. - Mahatma Gandhi

Greed is one of primal instinct of human beings. Not everyone becomes content when he gets something. Greed is a bottomless basket which you can't ever fill. Everyone knows that but we still can't deny the urge to own more things.

But there's another instinct that drove us towards our survival from the birth of first human, Fear. Sense of fear is built into our brain. But what are we afraid of? How does fear help us to survive?

At first, fear of dangerous animal or getting robbed or being pennyless etc comes to mind. But actually we are afraid of uncertain things, things that we don't know of or about. Facing a unknown enemy is the worst fear of all. This fear forces us to re-evaluate each of our steps & decision in life. Without sense of fear, we would end up being reckless. That's how fear is a important part of our survival instincts.

But many times, Greed overpowers fear. Greed often can create a impression that you know all things about the "uncertain things" you are afraid of, so you should not be afraid at all.

Tumbbad (2018) really plays with our mind by maintaining this illusion of balanced greed & fear. Sometimes you will want to stop characters from doing something because you're afraid that it would end up bad. Other times, you will agree with the characters that taking risks sometimes totally worth it. And maintaining this balance is what makes this movie so enjoyable.

Movie starts with a mythical story: Hastar, a son of goddess, has lot of wealth. But as greed works, he want to get his hands on control of food. But other gods prohibited him and cursed him that he will never have any foods. Since then, Hastar has a everlasting hunger. And his treasure is burried somewhere in "tumbbad", a village.

In this rain-infested village, a widow lives with his two son. They also have another "member" that they have to take care of daily. That "grand-mother" is real treat to eyes. It is rumored that grand-mother knows address of Hastar's treasure. But you'll will understand why anyone never dares to ask for that info to her, once you watch the movie.

Tragedy doesn't shy away from this family though. Once it hits, the widows leaves the village, leaving grand-mother back in home. After few years, The elder son comes back to tumbbad, he now has enough greed to ignore fear and ask grand-mother the question that he always wanted to ask. Will he get access to the treasure of tumbbad?

Psychology horror always uses "fear of uncertainty". No nasty ghost will suddenly make you jump, no slashy scenes will make you chill, But your heart will beat lot faster searching for answers and anticipating what will happen next. Make no mistake, tumbbad has its fair share of violence but the beauty of the camera work will make you love it and remember it after long time.

As mentioned, I really liked the visual of this movie. The camera work, the color palate, the shots of rain...ufff.... loved them. I've always loved watching heavy rain fall, and tumbbad has pleased me with it.

Actors did great job too. Shohum shah as vinayak, really impressed me. And the kids, man, their expression of fear, excitement, curiosity to know the unknown was really well delivered. I think almost throughout the movie, my emotion matched exactly with them.

I am more than satisfied with both the script and score. Script has several witty points that startled me. Music score really kept the tension high. Couldn't ask more.

Go, watch this visually stunning, well written horror movie that will make you think twice next time when you have urge of greed. Or maybe sense of fear is not so strong in you?

Sleep now, or hastar will come!