Just watched Hotel Mumbai based on the 26/11/08 terrorist attacks on my birthplace. It’s gripping, intense and gut-wrenching even though you know most of what will transpire and how it will end. Even though it is a mainstream Hollywood movie, it is not exploitative nor does it make the non-Indians the main focus.
The real-life heroism of the Taj staff is on full display, when many had the chance to leave and didn’t (if u have ever stayed at a Taj property anywhere, the hospitality and extreme customer focus will be familiar). The brainwashing of the terrorists and their zombie-like responses is also starkly conveyed thru the conversations with their cold blooded Pakistani handlers using the real life dialogue captured by intercepting their cellphones.
The film maker's choice of keeping the dialogues by the Indian and Pakistani characters in Hindi, Urdu and Marathi when interacting among themselves adds to the realism. The random nature of the senseless violence perpetrated is a harsh reminder of the fragility of life. All in all, an ode to extraordinary heroism by ordinary folks.
March 29, 2019