Anand Gandhi’s ‘Tumbbad’ completes two years, the filmmaker reveals what went into making the iconic character of ‘Hastar’ – Times of India

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Anand Gandhi’s ‘Tumbbad’ is undoubtedly the first Indian period horror film that opened up a completely new dimension for cinema lovers all over the globe. The movie that impressed critics and viewers worldwide with its unique storyline, direction, and suspense, completed two glorious years today.

Talking about the way Anand Gandhi approached horror, he said, “While color systems are essential to any narrative, it is an often-misunderstood science. Our minds have evolved to make specific relationships with color, patterns, textures, and contrasts – this ability has saved our lives in the past by being able to spot leopards hidden in the grass, for example. But this emotion doesn’t always need black spots in yellow grass to be triggered. The same emotion can also be triggered by a misplaced pink blush on a child’s smiling face while witnessing a beautiful bluebird bleeding and fluttering to its death. There! You have horror created by pink, blue, and brightly saturated colors too. Horror is created by the meaning-making parts of brains and hence is driven by context.”

Elaborating further, he added, “For centuries men have automatically been granted social privilege, control of property, and moral authority by just the virtue of their birth. The patriarchal system has granted some the power to incessantly violate even the most fundamental rights of the ones excluded from the system because of their gender or their caste – in some cases, commit horrors upon the victims of their oppression. Tumbbad is an allegory for the horror of patriarchal power centers (Sarkar) run by a toxic mix of consumerism (the foreign goods), greed (the gold), and intoxication (the opium). It’s the story of a patriarch claiming his position of authoritarian power lost to his bastard-hood so he can own, control and oppress just like his biological father he once hated (as seen through his relationship with his widowed mistress).”

The filmmaker also went on to add, “’Tumbbad’ is an allegory for the horror of patriarchal power centers (Sarkar) run by a toxic mix of consumerism (the foreign goods), greed (the gold), and intoxication (the opium). It’s the story of a patriarch claiming his position of authoritarian power lost to his bastard-hood so he can own, control and oppress just like his biological father he once hated (as seen through his relationship with his widowed mistress). To do this, he has to literally steal this power from the cursed monster of toxic greed, abuse, and theft accumulated over centuries (Hastar).”

The film starred Sohum Shah in the lead role.



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