Mumbai: Tumbbad starring Sohum Shah is all set to release in a day. The actor-producer has earlier invested in projects like Ship Of Theseus and Talvar. Coming to Tumbbad, he took 6 long years for the film, yes even more than Baahubali! In a candid conversation with Deccan Chronicle, he spoke about the whole journey and how it has been a fulfilling one for him. Here are some excerpts from the interview:
Winning National Award with Ship Of Theseus, bagging film with Kangana, and now Tumbbad being in so much buzz, what have you got to say about all this?
I have a lot of expectations too. I took 6 years in making this film, giving it my everything! So I feel that this film should reach maximum audiences, who could experience it. It is such a unique film, which you wouldn’t have seen in Indian cinema – including the visuals and bedtime tales. When this story came to me, I started wondering why nobody touched such a subject! It was tough to make a film like this because we had to create monsters. We first used prosthetics then settled for VFX and did a lot of research on production design. We got a bus from 1930s in the film.
The trailer has every element – horror, thriller, drama, unconventional romance and unintentional comedy. So will it be right to put the film in a box genre-wise? What can the audiences expect when they go to watch the film?
Surprise. That’s the only word. The film changes colour with each second. It has so many elements like you rightly said, so you can’t put it in a box.
Did you expect that the film will take 6 years? Deciding to do a film before Baahubali also came in, do you feel that Tumbbad is at the level of the epic?
Not exactly Baahubali, but it’s different and grand. I began the film in 2012 and am really happy that we’re getting everything right. It’s a very Indian film. Baahubali is on a grand scale so there’s no comparison, but this film is emotional and colourful. It is unique and familiar all at the same time.
Can it be a franchise as well?
Definitely! If it gets people’s love, it can definitely happen!
If asked to invest these many years, can you do it again?
I would love to do that! I learnt so much, and then you feel like patting yourself for making the right kind of film. As an actor, I’ve been through many challenges. For me the challenging part here was to understand his psychology. As an actor, it’s easy to get out of the zone after 2 months. Here I had to be in the flow for 6 years! Physical memory like driving a car isn’t forgotten, it’s the emotional memory which you tend to forget. Apart from that, I did rope climbing and used lenses. I’m not a gym fan but I went ahead and worked on my body. For me, Tumbbad itself is one-time opportunity.
You are from a Rajasthani village yourself. So is there any special preparation that you had to do?
All that I mentioned before, and learning Marathi accent. I feel the character is Salim-Javed’s Amitabh Bachchan. He is very isolated. I am totally opposite of Vinayak. He also has a dark sense of humour. In all preparations, getting into the character’s costume really helps, since you get in the flow.
But investing in the character would be interesting, no?
I won’t be able to forget this character for life! It’s really special. He’s larger-than-life.
Did you take anything back from Vinayak?
I don’t want to take anything from him, but he has mind-blowing courage, which is more inspiring.
Along with Aanand L Rai, even Rajkumar Hirani praised the movie. So does he have any contribution?
No, we’re just lucky he even came, since he was busy with Sanju then. He loved the film so much that he spoke for an hour. Aanand sir was also on board so my mind wasn’t able to process that the dream was coming true, but I felt that I was on the right path for sure.
Would you like to invest in anything apart from movies?
I’m more an actor than producer. I don’t want to invest more in production....