Kantara enjoyed a successful run at the box. The movie experienced immense love, not just in Karnataka, but all around the country. However, there is a strong section of the audience that has criticised the movie, on different fronts.
‘The Ship of Theseus’ director Anand Gandhi has made his discontent public regarding the comparisons between ‘Tumbbad’ and ‘Kantara.
The director wrote in a tweet that with Tumbbad, his idea was to use the element of horror “as an allegory” to show toxic masculinity and parochialism.
“Kantara is nothing like Tumbbad. My idea behind Tumbbad was to use horror as an allegory of toxic masculinity and parochialism. Kantara is a celebration of these.” wrote the director of ‘The Insignificant Man.
Kantara is nothing like Tumbbad. My idea behind Tumbbad was to use the horror as an allegory of toxic masculinity and parochialism.
Kantara is a celebration of these.
— Anand Gandhi (@Memewala) December 3, 2022
Anand Gandhi was one of the producers and screenplay writers of Tumbbad, which was released in 2018. The movie, which was praised for the events of history it touched, was visually stunning and a success at the box office. The National Award-winning film was in the process of being made for a long time, as the makers were stubborn about having real locations in the movie. The movie was directed by Rahi Anil Barve and starred Sohum Shah in the lead role.
Tumbbad was Rahi's idea…that apart haan point taken. https://t.co/NNqKeN9bP1
— Vasan Bala (@Vasan_Bala) December 3, 2022
Kantara depicts the journey from debauchery to enlightenment, the nativism playing an enabling role. Tumbbad is the exact opposite- a glorification of debauchery and stereotyping of the natives.
You’re right – Kantara is nothing like Tumbbad.
— The Road to Serfdom (@quark_time) December 3, 2022
The movie showed a journey of a man, from a small village in the pockets of Maharashtra, and the greed he attached to his property. The movie has strong women characters, who play pivotal roles at different stages of the movie. Tumbbad took place in the first half of the 20th century, as it successfully shows the patriarchal and materialistic mindset of a few men from that time.
No point even in comparison. Kantara embraces tradition and celebrates. Tumbbad is nothing like it. Good cinematic experience but nothing to feel good about in Tumbbad at end of it. Kantara makes u happy inside at the end and also proud!! https://t.co/KNSaPHjjy2
— Vishal विशाल 🇮🇳 (@vishalkmumbai) December 3, 2022
Kantara, which is more commercial in nature, is based on the ‘Bhoota Kola’ culture, practised in the coastal parts of Karnataka. Rishab Shetty, the director, and actor of the movie is considered to be the highlight of this mega-hit. However, the movie has not gone well with several people as it seems to celebrate several problematic themes, in form of stalking and deforestation. The movie has also been in talks because of the allegations made by a Kerala-based band. Thaikkudam Bridge claimed that ‘Varaha Roopam’ from Kantara is plagiarised, due to its similarities with a song named ‘Navarasam’ from the band.
Yes Tumbbad is technically superior product, having said that cinema is just an art of storytelling & has no moral responsibility over society.
In an era political correctness like today i doubt characters like Travis Bickle, Max Cady & Alex will ever see the light of day again. https://t.co/rEhVDn9gZD
— The Cinéprism (@TheCineprism) December 3, 2022
Anand Gandhi’s tweet on the comparison of these two movies has started a debate. Besides supporting the director for his views on the comparison, several users have looked at the success of both movies as a sweet spot for Indian cinema, where both types of movies can co-exist.