In “Hotel Mumbai,” Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Nazanin Boniadi (“Homeland“), and Anupam Kher (“The Big Sick“) star in Anthony Maras’ debut feature, about the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks and its survivors. Maras was born in Adelaide, Australia and his directorial credits include the short films “Azadi,” “Spike Up,” and “The Palace.” “Hotel Mumbai” is his feature directorial debut and obviously he scored himself a great cast for his first time at bat.
Also known as 26/11, the 2008 Mumbai attacks featured 10 members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamic terrorist organization based in Pakistan, who carried out a series of 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks lasting four days across Mumbai. Two days later after the attacks started, all sites except for the Taj Hotel had been secured by the Mumbai Police Department and security forces. The next day, India’s National Security Guards (NSG) conducted “Operation Black Tornado” to flush out the remaining attackers. “Hotel Mumbai,” tells that story peripherally, but not, it seems, about the police orchestrating the operation, but instead about the fates and personal perspectives about the people that were inside. Here’s the official synopsis:
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 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 newborn child.
“Hotel Mumbai” didn’t exactly make a lot of noise at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival last fall where it premiered, but those who did see it seemed to enjoy it; it’s at 80% on Rotten Tomatoes, so chalk it up to some films just being lost in the mix at a gigantic film festival which is a very real byproduct of something that immense.
Co-starring, Nazanin Boniadi, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, and Jason Isaacs, “Hotel Mumbai” is in theaters March 22, 2019. Here’s the new trailer: