Movie Review: Hotel Mumbai (2018)

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Summary: The true story of the Taj Hotel terrorist attack in Mumbai. Hotel staff risk their lives to keep everyone safe as people make unthinkable sacrifices to protect themselves and their families.
This will be a short review.
Pros:
Cast and Characters.
  • Dev Patel as Arjun. First, I had no idea Dev Patel was British, I watched an interview with him about this movie and I was like wait a minute! lol but anyways, I really like Dev Patel and if he’s in the movie, I’m definitely interested in watching it. I think he’s a great actor. Arjun is a new father; his daughter is probably two at the most and he has a wife. He came to work and fought to stay because he needed the shift. He’s clearly a very attentive staff member and determined to do well because he still came to work even though he lost his work shoes AND he walked around in shoes clearly too little for him because he wanted and needed to be there.  It’s also because of him that a lot of people survived. He is a good person and he did his hardest to protect these people. One of my favorite scenes is when he talks to this British lady who told another staff member, she was afraid of him because of his beard and his turban. Such a great scene. Dev Patel is soo good at making you feel the gravity of what the character is feeling, particularly in his eyes. Gosh he’s so good.
  • Armie Hammer as David. Not quite sure who he was but I think he’s rich? But we get a lot of exposition about him and Zahra from the staff. He’s American and got her pregnant and he’s clearly a loving father and husband. David does what he can to keep his wife calm and then make his way back to the room for his son. I like Armie Hammer and he’s fine in the part.
  • Nazanin Boniadi as Zahra. She is a rich lady? who married an American guy after being pregnant with his child and it’s some kind of scandal, I don’t know, but she and her husband end up at the hotel restaurant and she spends a lot of the film apart from her husband and child. She’s very brave for what she endures and I thought Boniadi was great in her fear and one of her best scenes was towards the end when she was praying… that was really good.
  • Anupam Kher as chef Hemant Oberoi. He really gets to shine as the film goes on. He’s one of the pillars of calm throughout the film. He wants to save as many guests as possible because in this hotel “Guests is God” and their lives are important as well. Chef really put his life on the line to save these people and I know, it’s a crisis but give the man a break, he’s doing his best here. Mr. Kher was very gentle when he needed to be and I loved his moment with Arjun towards the end.
  • Jason Isaacs as Vasili. He is a Russian something who I guess is there for a naked party with some women. He comes off as a pig when we first meet him but he ends up being very kind to Zahra and is really helpful in a lot of ways. I was expecting him to be one of those characters you hate throughout the crisis because they’re jerks but he really surprised me. Jason Isaacs, great actor.
Stressful and Tension-filled This movie is super stressful. It is based on a true story which heightens the stress and tension because you know these people are based on real survivors/victims and what they had to go through. Plus, any time people are murdering people in droves, it’s hard to watch and you get stressed out because you wonder whose gonna live out the characters we’ve seen. Not to mention, there’s a baby involved and just ugh. I found my heart beating quickly a few times.
Cons:
Detached from Characters. We meet a few characters in the film, and it’s clear who we’re supposed to care about. Particularly Arjun, Zahra, David (their kid and Nanny), Vasili and maybe the Chef. We follow these characters the most. We of course get introduced to these two tourists who we follow for a little bit and some other people we see a couple of times but to be honest, outside of Arjun I wasn’t that invested in anyone else. Zahra and David, I was invested in because of their baby and I didn’t want to see the baby found and killed because it’s just too much. But we know nothing about these people to really care for them other than to see them survive because it’s human decency  and natural goodness that makes you want to see people make it out of a terrible situation. But if someone died, I was like, oh yeah, okay, I saw that coming. The movie feels so long but we probably got to know the attackers more than most of the victims outside of Arjun.
Stupid People. I hate to say it like this since this is based on a true story but some people are really stupid when it comes to situations like this. This one man who kept wanting to run out of the restaurant even after you HEARD THE FRIGGIN SHOOTING OUTSIDE THE DOOR! DUDE, I know it’s flight no fight right now but you’re trying to stay alive and if they’re in the lobby which is like a few feet, calm down. Or the Nanny who left the doors open after that one lady ran inside? I wouldn’t have opened the door in the first place because I’m suspicious of everything but you couldn’t even close the door? Then that one tourist chick… I mean girl. Then that one guy who called the news reporter… like I get it, it’s a state of panic but don’t call the news where they’ll probably say where you are. I mean… that kind of stuff, I don’t know if it was true or for drama sake in the film but still upsetting.
Overall, Hotel Mumbai is a very good film. I didn’t realize it was based on a true story but I think the tragedy is handled really well and it doesn’t feel like things were added for dramatic effect, ya know like Titanicand Pearl Harbor(even though I adore Titanic lol). It just feels like an organic story that may be unfortunately more plot driven than character driven but we do get to see some great acting from all of the actors, particularly Dev Patel and I think the actors who played the terrorists did a really good job as well. This film is very stressful and full of tension, I found myself on the edge of my seat and pulled into the story quite quickly, especially since I knew what was going to happen once it was set up from the beginning. Even though all of the acting is great, I don’t think you’ll find yourself really caring about any of the characters because we don’t get to know who they are outside of Arjun. You want people to survive because it’s terrible but as a film, it’s like okay… I don’t know that person, or hey that’s one of the main people… what’s their name again? Also, people are super stupid in times of crisis. I need more level headed people. But in the end, Hotel Mumbai is a great watch, especially if you are a fan of Dev Patel and are interested in seeing what happened in real life from a filmmaker’s stand point.
Rating: 4.49 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Hotel Mumbai? What did you think about it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Thanks for reading and be sure to keep an eye out for more movie reviews!
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