Movie Review Hotel Mumbai: A befitting tribute to the unsung heroes of 26/11

There are many real-life para-controversies which the film touches. The dilemma of the police force as they haplessly wait for the Special Forces to irresponsible ‘breaking news’ journalism that allegedly cost many lives.
Movie Review Hotel Mumbai: A befitting tribute to the unsung heroes of 26/11Movie Review Hotel Mumbai: A befitting tribute to the unsung heroes of 26/11
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Hotel Mumbai

Hotel Mumbai Director: Anthony Maras

Hotel Mumbai Cast: Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Nazanin Boniadi, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Anupam Kher

Hotel Mumbai Stars: 3.5/5

For any Indian, the 26/11 attack ushers in a range of emotions – frustration, agony, helplessness, and anger. Hotel Mumbai vividly recounts the 2008 siege of the famed Taj Hotel by a group of terrorists in Mumbai, India. Hotel Mumbai is not just the narration of what happened then but captures concurrent stories of courage of the ordinary people to fight the battle.  With gripping storytelling, the film highlights the spirit of people to put their lives at risk to save a stranger.
Moreover, it hails the values of treating customer as god. Fortunately, the makers have tread a cautious path. The film could have ended up like an endorsement of the few brands from the hospitality industry. However, it doesn’t. 

With some powerful screenplay add brilliant acting of the star cast, it turns into a gripping screenplay of humanity and heroism. Among the dedicated hotel staff are the renowned chef Hemant Oberoi (Anupam Kher) and a waiter (Academy Award-nominee Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire) who choose to risk their lives to protect their guests. 
As the world watches on, a desperate couple (Armie Hammer, Call Me By Your Name and Nazanin Boniadi, "Homeland") is forced to make unthinkable sacrifices to protect their new-born child.

 

Be it acting, directing, cinematography or even the crispy editing, the makers do justice to each function equally. The first-half has some extremely thrilling moments, which makes the audience emotional. You drift and become part of the story; feeling empathy for each of the characters. Dev Patel’s character as a waiter who is facing a financial crunch has strokes of excellence. In one scene, you see him borrowing shoes of a smaller size from his boss. As a result, he adjusts with a slight limp due to the pain. Dev’s ensures that his discomfort of fitting in a smaller size shoe is evident throughout the film. 

The second-half is impressive and often makes you wonder the plight of people who were victims of the ghastly attack. The director and the writer have deftly crafted the emotional scenes without hinging on overdramatization. The dialogues are simple. No proses, philosophy or rhetorics – just as you would expect an average human to speak. And that’s what makes you relate to the film more and be convinced that life gives all of us the option to be the brave, the hero. It’s only a few who accept the choice willingly. The background scores add to the suspense, but never over-powers the cinematography and direction. 
Anupam Kher, as always, gets into the skin of the character. However, Dev Patel walks away with the charm and delivers a heart-winning performance. The guy who became famous through an average performance in Slumdog Millionaire steals the show entirely with his acting prowess. His honesty and loyalty towards the role are inexplicable and conspicuous. There is a beautiful scene where he realizes whatever happens in life is for a reason. In this, both the director and the actor have relied on the principle of ‘show don’t tell’. 

Jason Isaacs as a suspicious Russian impress in each and every frame. Nazanin Boniadi and Armie Hammer as a couple who is worried about their infant is chilling and
There are many real-life para-controversies that the film touches. The dilemma of the police force as they haplessly wait for the Special Forces, the irresponsible ‘breaking news’ journalism that allegedly cost many lives. 
In brevity, Mumbai Hotel is a befitting tribute to the unsung heroes of 26/11 and victims. The only disappointment for the film aficionados is that the Indian film industry couldn’t deliver better or earlier than a Hollywood production house.

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