Cardiac surgeon Mo (39) -short for Monique- has only one focus in life: her medical career. Everything else is of secondary importance. Where should she, for example, find enough time to ... See full summary »
Eva van de Wijdeven
A gripping true story of humanity and heroism, HOTEL MUMBAI vividly recounts the 2008 siege of the famed Taj Hotel by a group of terrorists in Mumbai, India. Among the dedicated hotel staff is 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 newborn child.Written by
According to Gary Hamilton, the many Indian-Canadians in Toronto helped with the decision to premiere the film at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in Toronto. See more »
The injured terrorist in the room where the hostages are held uses a hotel phone (landline) to call home to Pakistan and gets through on first attempt. He would have had to know how to get an outside line on a hotel phone, the country code for Pakistan, the area code for his village besides his families phone no. This is highly unlikely for somebody who is not acquainted with modern amenities, (even the WC causes consternation) and who would not have been trained or expected to communicate with anything other than the mobile phone they were provided with. See more »
At its core, Hotel Mumbai is a celebration of human resilience and courage in the face of overwhelming evil
On the 26th November 2008, a group of young men armed with explosives and AK-47s stormed the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, the result of a terror spree sweeping across key locations in Mumbai. With instructions being fed to them through an earpiece, the amateur terrorists succeeded in laying siege to the hotel, spreading a trail of chaos and destruction across each floor, in a tragedy that remains seared in the minds of all those who survived.
In capturing the intensity of the siege, director Anthony Maras effectively splits the film's focus between the staff and guests of the hotel in their fight to survive and the role of the perpetrators in co-ordinating the attacks. With the Mumbai police forces completely unprepared for an attack of this magnitude, the reign of terror lasted three days and the film is relentless in its display of gratuitous violence. Near the beginning, bullets scatter across a packed lobby as bodies drop like flies and the attackers continue their march to the upper floors where, room by room, they shoot unsuspecting guests. Thirty-one individuals lost their lives during the chaos and by not shying away from the ugliness of the act, Maras paints an unnerving picture of the callous disregard the terrorist showed their victims.
However, the film's perpetual forward momentum means that the violence slowly becomes desensitising and at times teeters on the edge of exploitative Hollywood action territory. The film uses a fair amount of dramatic license to keep events thrilling and sometimes it seems to paint a real-life event in very broad action strokes. Luckily, any detour into action hero territory is quickly dispelled by a screenplay that presents heroes in all shapes and forms.
Indeed, what stands apart, is the strength of the character portraits that emerge amongst the violence. Dev Patel and Anupam Ker play hotel employees who stand by their colleagues and guests at all costs, while Armie Hammer and Nazanin Boniadi play a married couple who risk it all to protect their child. While the characters may be fictional, it's not hard to imagine numerous stories just like theirs having occurred in real life. Moreover, by interspersing their stories with first hand news footage of the siege, Maras injects an extra element of realism that convincingly ties the film together.
At its core, Hotel Mumbai is a celebration of human resilience and courage in the face of overwhelming evil. By focusing on the humanity amongst the carnage, Hotel Mumbai honours all those who risked, and lost, their lives in the attack.
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