Cast: Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Nazanin Boniadi, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Anupam Kher, Jason Isaacs, Suhail Nayyar
Direction: Anthony Maras
Genre: Drama, Action
Duration: 2 hours 5 minutes
The most spine chilling thing about Hotel Mumbai, which recreates the 26/11 Mumbai attacks which took place in 2008 are not the gruesome killings but the casual way in which the terrorists saunter inside Mumbai, hail taxis at random and easily assess their preferred targets. It was as if no security apparatus existed in Mumbai back then. The whole thing was a major intelligence failure and the film reminds you of that yet again.
The Pakistani terrorists created mayhem at different targets but the film largely confines itself to the happenings of The Taj Mahal hotel. Thanks to the exemplary valour of chef Hemant Oberoi and the other staff members of Taj, a majority of guests were safely enclosed within Chambers club, an exclusive club located at a secure location.
Just when the guests were getting away to safety, irresponsible TV journalism exposed their location. Many of the staff lost their lives in the shooting that followed. Nevertheless, it’s said that from around 1700 people stranded in the hotel, around 1600 people got rescued, thanks to the heroism of Taj’s staff.
Only one member of the staff is mentioned by name in the film and that is Hemant Oberoi, played by Anupam Kher. Kher brings to life the stoic heroism of Oberoi. We see him calming down the scared guests, making sure of their comfort, controlling their panic time and again. Dev Patel plays a waiter and embodies the selfless nature of everyday heroes who put their lives on the line to save the lives of strangers. There is a poignant scene where Patel explains how the Turban is a sacred object for the Sikh faith but he’s willing to take it off if it makes her comfortable. He actually does so to tie it up as bandage for another injured guest.