Director- Anthony Maras
Writer- Anthony Maras, John Collee
Cast-Dev Patel, Anupam Kher, Armie Hammer, Nazanin Bonaidi, Jason Isaacs, Suhail Nayyar, Vipin Sharma
In a nutshell:
To look at the brighter side of this grim story,Hotel Mumbai is the heroic tale of survival and courage that stood out during the horrific carnage that happened in Hotel Taj Mumbai on 26/11.
As a flip side of good cinema, this marvellously made film makes you relive the pain and horror of that ominous day.
Imagine if just watching the horror unfold onscreen requires a certain amount of nerves , what extraordinary nerves those people must have had whose courage and valour helped them or others survive it! And that’s what Anthony Maras aims to highlight.
The Gut Wrenching Insider’s View :
Throughout this wonderfully written film (by Maras and John Collee), the focus never falters. It begins with the terrorists landing in Mumbai with a smoothness that scares and reminds us of our vulnerability.
It shows the humble, tough but loving life of Steward Arjun Singh( Dev Patel) who reports to duty on the dark day. Soon enough, the events unfold, the terrorists break into a bloody carnage at different locations and land up at the hotel. Here again the ease with which they could just walk in and begin their killing spree shakes us up.
The Connect :
Thereafter, the story remains focused on people. While the killers hunted and killed, the hotel team members show exemplary guts and presence of mind to save the guests.While most of them had chance to save their own lives since they knew the safe routes, most chose to stay back and help.
By focusing on few characters like Arjun and guests Zahra(Nazanin), her husband David (Armie Hammer) & their family, and few others, the story builds a strong emotional and human connect with the audience by brilliantly portraying their vulnerability, fears, break downs, panic reactions.
I think the writing and direction was simply superb. Not only the makers remained focus on the 24 hrs with clinical precision, they ensured the audience remained emotionally invested without giving into drama and cinematic cliches.The cinematography and editing was equally praiseworthy. Not only was the camerawork very realistic but the real footages were merged seamlessly.
Dev Patel shines with his realistic performance. Anupam Kher as Chef Hemant Oberoi was just about average. Nazanin and Armie Hammer were good .
The terrorist actors had a bright chance but were not impressive. Couldn’t help remember Jim Sarbh’s menacing portrayal in Neerja.
Having said that for the sake of critical analysis,honestly, we didn’t need any more menace .
For, the entire proceeding of that horrific day was so chillingly depicted, that it was a nerve wrecking watch any which ways.
The Emotional Rollercoaster :
It was quite an edge of the seat watch while squirming in trepidation. While the killers were on the prowl, we were un-realizingly holding our breaths most of the time.We didn’t know who was going to survive and who not,so when someone was felled, it was a blow to our guts.When the survivors finally saw the light of the day, met their loved ones, got back their lives,only then we broke into tears of triumph and joy.
The hotel team members’ tenacity of nerves, their bravery in the face of such horrific situation drove to us to overwhelming adulation.
The real footages of hotel reopening that depicted the unbroken spirit of the hotel chain that drills such fierce loyalty and guest orientation in their team,drove the hotelier in me to tears.
The film is superb portrayal of triumph of spirit and life. Its a befitting ode to the guts and grits of those who survived and helped others survive.
It’s a must watch !
Score 9 on 10.