Hotel Mumbai Review - Four Stars! Riveting Recreation, Palpable Intensity

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Hotel Mumbai, from Bleeker Street Media and Screen Australia, presents a riveting recreation of the November 26, 2008 night of terror when jihadists attacked the city in coordinated attacks targeting westerns the famous Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.

Directed and co-written by Anthony Maras, Hotel Mumbai stars Dev Patel, Nazanin Boniadi, Armie Hammer, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Anupam Kher, Jason Isaacs, Carmen Duncan, Ansuya Nathan, Angus McLaren, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Amandeep Singh, Suhail Mayyar, Manoj Mehra, Dinesh Kumar, Kapil Kumar Netra along with an impressive supporting cast. Hotel Mumbai was also co-written by John Collee and is from the producers of SICARIO and Wind River.

During first few minutes of Hotel Mumbai we meet our key players, backpackers Eddie and Bree, played by Angus McLaren, and Natasha Liu Bordizzo. Hotel Mumbai guests Zahra and David, played by Nazanin Boniadi and Armie Hammer and Vasili, played by Jason Isaacs. We also meet the Head Chef, Oberi played by Anupur Kher, and Arjun, played by Dev Patel.


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Backpackers Eddie and Bree are at the Leopold Café and Bar, a popular restaurant in the Colaba Causeway section of Mumbai, when suddenly the waiter standing at their table is shot at point blank range.

In the following 90 seconds, the excitement of the night is destroyed as a still unknown terrorist sprayed the Café killing ten and injuring many more. Our backpackers Eddie and Bree escape the carnage and run toward the luxurious Taj Mahal Palace.

Within five minutes of the first shot, the survivors of the Leopold had escaped to the Taj. Little did they know the attackers also followed them, calmly walking in the front door and in seconds began a massacre than would last for days.

With a motto, "The guest is God" head chef, Oberi, played by Anupam Kher, is inspecting his staff. When he reaches Arjun, played by Dev Patel, his lack of professional dress nearly gets him sent home. Soon he is working the formal dining room.


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Seating Vasili, a former Russian General who is keeping his identity quiet, played by Jason Issacs,  who is arranging for after dinner in-room entertainment and is very specific on his preferences as he shuffles through headshots of the available beauties. As he is explaining his specifics, lovers Zahra and David, seated across from him, played by Nazanin Boniadi and Armie Hammer, are just enjoying each other. With both nanny and their infant son upstairs, the two are free to relax.

Within minutes the terrorists armed with semi-automatic weapons, grenades, and enough explosives to bring down the Taj, unpack their weapons and begin a massacre. A quick-thinking Arjun cuts the lights and has everyone hide under the tables. He looks out from the restaurant into the lobby just as the first wave of bystanders and colleagues are gunned down.

With very little police presence, and no SWAT or military presence in Mumbai, the simultaneous attacks brought the few police available to the outside of the hotel, the pride of Mumbai, as shots were echoing from the ongoing massacre and the few who decided it was better to attempt escape were risking the jump over a sure death.

The two commanding officers finally decided, after debating should they wait until the military arrives in four hours or storm the Taj with six men and as many bullets, that they had no choice but to storm the Taj and risk death.


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From the moment the shooting begins each of our main characters are confronted with overwhelming fear as the terrorist are moving floor to floor and by chance, they just didn't realize the formal dining room was full and feet from them.

What follows is two hours of nail-biting, gripping suspense. A chilling recreation as the recognizable cast creates an illusion of a conclusion that turns out to be so very different.

Hotel Mumbai is the true story of the Night of Terror in Mumbai when Pakistani Jihadists placed the city under siege and targeted luxury hotel and westerners. Watching Hotel Mumbai, it is difficult not to remember the similar attack in Paris. From the point of view of the terrorist, the siege of Mumbai was a success, with many western hotels and restaurants targeted and a slaughter. It was easy to see the correlation between the two cities and wonder was Mumbai the training ground. The film is shocking in its authenticity.


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The cast is stunning. With a handful of familiar and recognized actors, the audience is immediately drawn into each of these real stories of lives interrupted. Armie Hammer, Dev Patel, Nazanin Boniadi of Homeland fame, Anupam Kher, and Jason Isaacs, each portray a range of emotions from stark fear to gritty, resolute and even foolish determination to escape the terrorist and find family members.

Hotel Mumbai leaves you breathless. More than heightened suspense, fear and trepidation, palpable intensity, the audience is transfixed by the unfolding of events. Don't. Even. Blink. Hotel Mumbai hypnotizes as these scenes of terror are replayed.

A riveting recreation Hotel Mumbai opens March 22, 2019. See this film.

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