For Sohum Shah, 2018 has been a “life-changing” year. The actor-producer, who garnered immense critical acclaim with Tumbbad, said he was confident his film would get its share of adulation.
In an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, Shah shared how Tumbbad evolved over the years. “I was sure that Tumbbad will get appreciated and knew we were making something unique. It is a rooted and simple Indian story. It is like the stories we heard from our grandmother. So I knew people will relate to it.
“Six-seven years can make it a tedious and painful process. But Tumbbad was evolving. We started it as a very small film. But slowly ambitions grew, more ideas were added. So, what we had thought and what we ultimately made are two different films. The final one is a far better film!” Sohum Shah said.
Tumbbad is a fantasy drama based on Indian folklore and legends. Shah, who also stars in the film, explained how 2018 was the apt year for Tumbbad, which might not have worked if it had released earlier. “I believe in destiny. The fact that Tumbbad released in 2018 was very beneficial for the film. I started it in 2012. If it had released in 2013-2014, you won’t even know when it came and went. The audience wasn’t ready for new content back then. Currently, there is a wave of fresh content. People have consumed outside content from Netflix and Amazon, so there is an awareness level,” the actor said.
Sohum Shah, who has also acted in films like Ship of Theseus, Talvar and Simran, is thrilled that Tumbbad received so much appreciation from the entire film fraternity, including Shah Rukh Khan and Rajkumar Hirani. He said, “When we were finishing the film, we were concerned about its release. Our first copy came out in March this year, and within 10 days, Aanand L Rai came on board. So, to get lauded by those people whose work you have grown up watching is a dream come true.”
So what has 2018 taught Shah? “Success and work teach you so many things. As a performer, your graph grows. Working with Kangana (Ranaut) in Simran, I learnt that as an actor, you need to be relaxed. During the process of Tumbbad, I learnt how to pose for the cameras! Earlier I didn’t know where to keep my hands, how much to smile during a photo session. I didn’t know the importance of hair and makeup. I couldn’t speak fluently. Success brings a different level of confidence and comfort,” he said.
Sohum Shah also revealed that a sequel to Tumbbad was on the cards. “It is in a very initial stage. There is an idea which we are developing right now. We are looking for writers. That’ll take a bit of time. But, it will definitely be bigger than Tumbbad with more resources,” he shared.
On being asked if he will also star in the sequel, considering his character Vinayak died in Tumbbad, Shah quipped, “I will return as my son Pandurang! (laughs)”
The actor further shared his plans for 2019. He said, “I’m doing a Netflix series and also making a film titled Baatuni. Tumbbad’s co-director Adesh Prasad is directing it. Plus, 2-3 more films are in talks but nothing is concrete right now.”
The actor-producer summed up Bollywood in 2018. He opined, “2018 was a game-changer and a very interesting year for the film industry. Content-driven small-town films which were performance oriented have worked. Producers are ready to put their money on new people. Our technical aspects are getting stronger. An acceptance has come in the system for new stories and new people. And even if your film doesn’t get a release, it’ll find a way through mediums like Netflix and Amazon, and reach its audience.”