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Tumbbad poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Rahi Anil Barve
Anand Gandhi
Adesh Prasad
Produced by Sohum Shah
Anand Gandhi
Mukesh Shah
Amita Shah
Screenplay by Mitesh Shah
Adesh Prasad
Rahi Anil Barve
Anand Gandhi
Starring Sohum Shah
Music by Ajay-Atul
Jesper Kyd
Cinematography Pankaj Kumar
Edited by Sanyukta Kaza
Eros International
Sohum Shah Films
Colour Yellow Productions
Film I Vast
FilmGate Films
Distributed by Eros International
Release date
  • 30 August 2018 (2018-08-30) (Venice)
  • 9 September 2018 (2018-21-09) (Austin)
  • 12 October 2018 (2018-10-12) (India)
Running time
104 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget 5 cr
Box office ₹6.31 cr (8 days)[1]

Tumbbad (transl. Trumpet; Hindi pronunciation: [tʊmbaːɖ]) is a 2018 Indian Hindi-language historical period Fantasy horror film directed by debutant Rahi Anil Barve.[2] Anand Gandhi, best known for the National Award winning film Ship of Theseus, brought it together as a creative director.

Tumbbad is produced by Sohum Shah, Anand Gandhi, Mukesh Shah and Amita Shah, the film stars Sohum Shah in the lead role.[3] Ajay Atul composed the title track of the film while the original score is by BAFTA award winner Jesper Kyd. A motion poster of the film was released on 4 July 2018.[4] Another poster was released on 20 August 2018.[5] It was followed by the launch of the teaser trailer on 21 August 2018.[6] The official theatrical trailer of the film was released on 25 September 2018. The film was critically acclaimed and was considered genre defining cinema.[7]

The film is directed by Rahi Anil Barve and produced by Sohum Shah. Anand Gandhi serves as the co-writer, executive producer and creative director of the film.[8]


Set in Tumbbad in the 1920s, the story revolves around the three generations of a family. The plot revolves around the consequences when a family builds a temple for the first-born of a goddess, named Hastar--he who must not be worshipped. Hastar is a terrible entity who can curse a person yet also can grant gold coins.


  • Sohum Shah as Vinayak
  • Harish Khanna as Samsthanik
  • Ronjini Chakraborty
  • Anita Date
  • Mohd Samad
  • Jyoti Malshe
  • Dhundiraj Prabhakar Joglekar
  • Deepak Damle


The films co-director Rahi Anil Barve said that the title is derived from Shripad Narayan Pendse's marathi novel Tumbadche Khot.[9] He said that he had written the first draft in 1997, when he was 18 years old. From 2009 to 2010, he created a 700 page storyboard within 8 months, which he said was the "anchor on which everything was based."[10] He managed to get a producer who backed out in 2008. In the monsoon of 2012, he managed to get finances and the principal photography started. He said: "we shot in the rain at age-old locations, where no human had ventured for at least a 100 years. For me, Tumbbads locations, the feel of its stuffy air, and the lonely rainy atmosphere that defies the feeling of time’s passage is as central as its characters".[9] The film has minimal dialogues and was shot with constant physical movement with few cuts.[9] Shah gained 8 kilogram's of weight for the role of a wrestler.[11] Since the production took six years, Shah maintained his role's look for that entire period.[12]

Tumbbad took six years in production.[5] Barve wrote the script based on a story his friend had told when they were in the Nagzira in 1993. It was a story by Marathi writer Narayan Dharap. Years later, when he revisited Dharap's story, he found it "utterly bland, mundane and forgettable". He said that the story had left an "indelible print- no, scar on my psyche" which "kept the story alive".[13] The film was shot by 2012 and after its editing, Barve and Shah realised that the film was "not able to achieve what it set out to do". It was then re-written and re-shot by Anand Gandhi; the filming completed in May 2015.[14][15] The Mutha river at the Onkareshwar area was taken as a reference for the set creation. In three weeks, the set of the small towns around the temple were recreated.[16] A doppelganger set of an old Pune city was created for the film. Shah wore the typical attire worn by Konkanasth Brahmans in Maharashtra.[17] It was shot in natural light.[10] The visual effects were done by Sean Wheelan's team at Filmgate films, who are also the co-producers.[14] Pankaj Kumar served as the director of photography and Sanyukta Kaza edited the film.[18]


Tumbbad premiered in the critics' week section of the 75th Venice International Film Festival, becoming the first Indian film to be screened there.[19] It was also screened at the 2018 Fantastic Fest and the El Gouna Film Festival.[20][21] Before its release, a special screening of the film was held by Anand L. Rai on 4 October. It was attended by film's team and several other filmmakers.[22]


Box office[edit]

As of October 19, 2018, Tumbbad has grossed Rs. 6.31 Cr against a production budget of NA. It showed the best stability and response out of the four movies released on the same weekend.[23]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, Tumbbad holds an approval rating of 87% based on 15 reviews, with an average rating of 7.3/10.[24]

Rachit Gupta of The Times of India rated the movie 4/5 and praised the visual appeal, direction and dialogues in the movie. He said, "Writers Mitesh Shah, Adesh Prasad, Anand Gandhi and Barve, have crafted an excellent tale. The movie serves up a good twist during the climactic portions too, one that fits perfectly with the theme."[25]

Baradwaj Rangan of Film Companion said, "It’s been a while since something (apparently) genre-based turned out so rich and mysterious, so defiantly its own thing."[26] Lee Marshall of Screen International called it an "initially atmospheric yarn let down by weak stock characters and a long veer into fright-free period drama in its over-long middle section."[27] Deborah Young of The Hollywood Reporter called the film "atmospheric, heavy on mythology and scary as hell."[18] J. Hurtado of Screen Anarchy gave a positive response and wrote: "A slow burn whose finale is wonderfully unexpected and yet fitting, Tumbbad is a great film and hopefully the start of a new trend in India."[28] Mike McNulty of The London Economic felt that the film "throws to Guillermo del Toro's brand of filmmaking" and the directors "manage to satisfyingly marry together the worlds of the real and the unreal."[29]

Jonathan Barkan of Dread Central wrote that the film "is more focused on the horror of human behavior than it is on creaking doors and the terror of what lurks in the dark." He also felt that the film's second half was "overly drawn out".[30] Matt Donato of /Film wrote: "Mad creature-feature designs, Academy-worthy blends of color and pristine optical packaging, despicable character work meant to provoke heartlessness traded for materialistic grandiosity – Tumbbad is a full genre package seasoned with a pungent foreign kick."[31] Gautaman Bhaskaran of CNN-News18 called it "undoubtedly well made, with fine pieces of acting to suit the period it is set it."[21] Trace Thurman of Bloody Disgusting wrote in his review: "With a compelling story of greed that spans more than 30 years, a memorable monster and some truly beautiful cinematography, Tumbbad is not to be missed."[32] Pankaj Kumar bagged the Best Cinematography award & Rahi Anil Barve, Adesh Prasad and Anand Gandhi won the Asia Focus Award at Sitges Film Festival for Tumbbad[33]


  1. ^ https://www.timesnownews.com/entertainment/box-office/article/tumbbad-box-office-collection-day-8-despite-new-releases-sohum-shah-starrer-maintains-a-steady-pace-at-lower-levels-bollywood-news/302044
  2. ^ India, Times of. "Rahi Anil Barve and Adesh Prasad co-direct Tumbbad". Times of India. None.
  3. ^ "Interview director Adesh Prasad and composer Jesper Kyd on Tumbbad".
  4. ^ "After Zero shoot wrap, Aanand L Rai shares motion poster of horror film, Tumbbad. Watch video". Hindustan Times. 4 July 2018. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Makers release a new spooky poster of 'Tumbbad'; teaser to be out tomorrow". The Times of India. 20 August 2018. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  6. ^ Chauhan, Gaurang (21 August 2018). "Tumbbad teaser: Sohum Shah's genre defining film promises a world full of fear and mystery - watch video". Times Now. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Tumbbad trailer: Gear up for an enigmatic experience with Sohum Shah and Aanand L Rai". Deccan Chronicle. 25 September 2018. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  8. ^ "Tumbbad teaser: Sohum Shah's genre defining film promises a world full of fear and mystery - watch video | Bollywood News". Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  9. ^ a b c Hebbar, Prajakta (24 December 2014). "Touching Indifference". The Indian Express. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Tumbbad's first draft was written in 1997: Director". The Indian Express. 4 October 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  11. ^ Pitale, Sonali Joshi (21 November 2013). "'Ship Of Theseus' Actor Sohum Shah Puts On 8 Kgs For His Next". Mid Day. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  12. ^ "Sohum Shah maintained his 'Tumbbad' look for 6 years". The Times of India. 21 September 2018. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  13. ^ Sequeira, Gayle; Ghosh, Sankhayan (24 August 2018). "Subversive, Artistic and Rooted: The New Hindi Horror Film". Film Companion. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  14. ^ a b Frater, Patrick (29 August 2018). "Dark Indian Fantasy 'Tumbbad' Opens Venice Critics Week (EXCLUSIVE CLIP)". Variety. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  15. ^ Gupta, Rachit (4 October 2018). "Sohum Shah, director Rahi Anil Barve and Adesh Prasad narrate the journey of 'Tumbbad'". The Times of India. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  16. ^ "'Tumbbad': Makers of the film recreate pre-independence era's Pune". The Times of India. 4 October 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  17. ^ "Revealed: Here's what the makers of 'Tumbbad' did to recreate the vintage era for the film". Daily News and Analysis. 9 September 2018. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  18. ^ a b Young, Deborah (30 August 2018). "'Tumbbad': Film Review: Venice 2018". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  19. ^ "Tumbbad, starring Sohum Shah, to be the first Indian movie to open Venice Film Festival's Critics' Week". Firstpost. 23 July 2018. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  20. ^ Hurtado, J. "Fantastic Fest 2018: Prepare Yourself For The Terror of TUMBBAD With This New Teaser". Screen Anarchy. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  21. ^ a b Bhaskaran, Gautaman (26 September 2018). "At El Gouna Film Festival, Tumbbad, an Indian fairytale, Unfolds on Screen". CNN-News18. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  22. ^ "Aanand L Rai hosted Tumbbad screening for acclaimed Bollywood filmmakers". Deccan Chronicle. 4 October 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  23. ^ https://www.timesnownews.com/entertainment/box-office/article/tumbbad-box-office-collection-day-8-despite-new-releases-sohum-shah-starrer-maintains-a-steady-pace-at-lower-levels-bollywood-news/302044
  24. ^ https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/tumbbad/
  25. ^ https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/movie-reviews/tumbbad/movie-review/66135343.cms
  26. ^ Rangan, Baradwaj (31 August 2018). "'Tumbbad': Movie Review". Film Companion. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  27. ^ Marshall, Lee (30 August 2018). "'Tumbbad': Venice Review". Screen International. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  28. ^ Hurtado, J (31 August 2018). "Venice 2018 Review: TUMBBAD Is A Complex Story Of Avarice And Fear". Screen Anarchy. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  29. ^ McNulty, Mike (5 September 2018). "Venezia 2018 - First Look Review: Tumbbad". The London Economic. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  30. ^ Barkan, Jonathan (21 September 2018). "Fantastic Fest 2018: TUMBBAD Review – Fantasy Folk Horror That Drips With Atmosphere". Dread Central. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  31. ^ Donato, Matt (22 September 2018). "'Tumbbad' Review: A Striking Artistic Display of the Catastrophic Temptations of Fate [Fantastic Fest]". /Film. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  32. ^ Thurman, Trace (25 September 2018). "[Fantastic Fest Review] Greed is Not Good In the Gorgeous 'Tumbbad'". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  33. ^ Pandya, Sonal (13 October 2018). "Tumbbad's Pankaj Kumar wins Best Cinematography award at Sitges festival". Cinestaan. Retrieved 15 October 2018.

External links[edit]