By Mary Cox
If you are looking for an exciting movie, go see “Hotel Mumbai.” The tension mounts from the first minutes the film starts and never lets up until the credits flash at the end. Based on true events in 2008, “Hotel Mumbai” is not just a “shoot them up” film. It is a study in obsession.
Young Muslim men are promised by a voice on the phone that they need to give their lives for Allah and the jihad. Their families will be compensated financially for their sacrifice. They are told to shoot and kill people in four locations in Mumbai, India. Although we see them briefly shooting up the train station, most of the action takes place at the siege of the Taj Hotel, a majestic hotel in Mumbai.
Armie Hammer plays David and Nazanin Boniade is his wife Zahra, a rich American couple with a new Baby and their nanny Sally played by Tilda Cobham Hervey who are guests at the hotel.
Academy Award Nominee, Dev Patel, plays Arjun, a server at the hotel and Anupam Khei is renown chef Hemut who runs the kitchen with an iron fist in a velvet glove. It is these two men who are responsible for saving lives at the Taj Hotel.
The acting is incredible. Dev Patel was wonderful; he has transitioned to a dramatic actor skillfully. I worried about him and worried that he would not survive. In fact, I worried about all the characters.
David and Zahara were separated from their baby son and tried valiantly to return to him. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the entire film.
Even though the terrorists did evil things for all the wrong reasons, the writers made them victims too in a way. They were victims of the absurdity of fundamentalism.
Director Anthony Maras, did an excellent job keeping the action moving and getting fantastic performances out of each actor. Maras and John Collee wrote the fantastic screenplay. You felt the terror these people experienced being caught in the middle of a nightmare.
The cinematography and special effects are extraordinary.
Unfortunately, “Hotel Mumbai” is not in wide distribution but should be. This is a movie not to be missed.