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Did Tumbbad director Rahi Anil Barve take a dig at Anand Gandhi amid the Kantara discourse?

Barve's cryptic tweet came in the same vein as the conversation between Vasan Bala and Anand Gandhi over the authorship of Tumbbad.

Did Tumbbad director Rahi Anil Barve take a dig at Anand Gandhi amid the Kantara discourse?
Anand Gandhi (L) and Rahi Anil Barve
  • Swaroop Kodur

Last Updated: 05.00 PM, Dec 04, 2022

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Tumbbad has been making the news for the last couple of days for multiple interesting reasons. On one hand, the film's creative director Anand Gandhi has garnered a lot of media and public scrutiny for his scathing remarks on Kantara wherein he referred to the film as a celebration of "toxic masculinity and parochialism".

"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,” read his tweet. 

As expected, a social media backlash would ensue soon after but to make things only trickier, fellow filmmaker Vasan Bala's tweet would take things off on a new tangent altogether. The Monica, Oh My Darling would pick on Gandhi's claim of Tumbbad being his idea and duly reminded him that it was Rahi Anil Barve who conceived the 2018 film.

"Tumbbad was Rahi's idea...that apart haan point taken," wrote Vasan Bala in his tweet. To add more weight to his stance, Anurag Kashyap and Mard ko Dard Nahi Hota actor Gulshan Devaiah sided with Bala with a fist-bump emoji.

Soon, as it'd turn out, an intense conversation would take place between Anand Gandhi and Vasan Bala wherein the former would assert that while Tumbbad wasn't his idea, per se, his tweet pertained to the visual idea of the film and how he approached as the creative director of the project. The two would agree to leave the discussion for another day, having already shared their respective opinions about the making of Tumbbad.

However, in the same vein came the response from director Rahi Anil Barve who, trying to diffuse the situation and quite possibly also take a dig at Gandhi, opined that all the chatter around the authorship of Tumbbad was redundant and that it's best if people let their work do all the talking.

"People should work. they should let their work speak," wrote Barve in his response to Vasan Bala's tweet.

For the uninitiated, Rahi Anil Barve's Tumbbad was stuck in 'development hell' for many years with a number of producers backing out. Anand Gandhi, along with the film's lead actor Sohum Shah, would join the team in 2012 to add perspective to Barve's vision and following another long stint of production which involved multiple rewrites of the original script, reshoots, and much more, Tumbbad eventually saw the light of day in 2018. 

While Rahi Anil Barve was finally credited as the film's director and Anand Gandhi as the creative director & co-writer (with Adesh Prasad serving as co-director and writer), the exact role that each individual played in the shaping of the film has been up for dispute. Following Barve's tweet, many urged him to come out and clarify that, unlike what the media has put out, Anand Gandhi is not the director of Tumbbad. The filmmaker is yet to respond.