HOTEL MUMBAI

Hotel Mumbai movie poster
A group of young Islamic terrorists from Pakistan attacked Mumbai, India in 2008. Part of this horrendous event included a siege at the Taj Hotel. Staff members, including Chef Hemant Oberoi (Anupam Kher) and waiter Arjun (Dev Patel), risk their lives to protect guests. Among those trapped are American David (Armie Hammer), his wife Zahra (Nazanin Boniadi), their newborn child and nanny Sally (Tilda Cobham-Hervey). Desperation leads to sacrifice.

Even though the outcome is known, tension throughout makes this a riveting thriller. After a quick setup with the arrival of the terrorists, director Anthony Maras maintains
a frenetic pace. At slightly over two hours, this engrossing film never feels long. The violence is difficult to watch since this really happened. Very little time is spent on character development in the screenplay by Maras and John Collee, but an excellent ensemble cast makes you care about their characters. Most are fictional, with the exception of Chef Oberoi - who survived the attack. Among the outstanding performances are Dev Patel and Anupam Kher as the stressed-out waiter and his boss, Armie Hammer and Nazanin Boniadi as the desperate couple, Tilda Cobham-Hervey as their frightened nanny and Jason Isaacs as a questionable Russian businessman. The scenes of guests and employees trying to get out of the hotel are reminiscent of past escape movies like "The Towering Inferno". But plot elements like these are necessary and forgiven. "Hotel Mumbai" is a worthwhile destination. (4/5 CAMS)

Rated R (for disturbing violence throughout, bloody images, and language)
Running Time: 123 minutes

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