The true story of the Mumbai 2008 terror attacks is told in the gripping film ‘Hotel Mumbai.’
I guarantee you you won’t exhale until the film is over. ‘Hotel Mumbai’ is heart racing – when 10 members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamic terrorist organisation based in Pakistan, carried out 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks that lasted four days across Mumbai. People were going about their daily business while the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, which was hit the hardest, was getting ready for another workday. Then bam, 18 terrorists took to the streets of Mumbai and indiscriminately started shooting at people. Hotel Mumbai re-enacts these chains of events and is as realistic as it gets.
Dev Patel stars as Arjun who works at the hotel as a waiter in order to feed and take care of his young family. Armie Hammer plays David, married to British-Muslim heiress Zahra (Nazanin Boniadi). They, along with a few hundred other people, are trapped in the hotel while terrorists roam the hallways looking for more westerners to kill, and this is after they shot up the train station as well as a cafe killing most of its patrons. These scenes are harrowing – you know what’s coming but don’t really expect it when it does. And when the film moves to the hotel and the terror the people are going through it feels very palpable and very real. While David and Zahra’s nanny (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) hides in a closet in their suite with their newborn baby (the only unrealistic scene in the film as the baby is not quite quiet and it’s strange two of the terrorists don’t hear the baby), many other hotel guests are hiding in several secure pockets in the hotel, not knowing what is going on and why no authorities have entered the hotel to rescue them.
Directed by Anthony Maras and co-written by Maras and John Collee, ‘Hotel Mumbai’ vividly tells the tragic story when 174 people were murdered, hundreds more wounded, in the worst terror attack ever in India.
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.