Hotel Mumbai | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Hotel Mumbai

Rated R 125 minutes 2019

★★★★★ ★★★★★
Movies built around the you-are-there intensity of real-life tragedy flirt dangerously with exploitation; this one’s visceral effectiveness too rarely translates into genuine emotional connection to the victims. On Nov. 26, 2008, Pakistani terrorists launched a multi-venue campaign of violence in India, including at the upscale Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai. The narrative here focuses on those who survive the initial assault, as employees like Sikh waiter Arjun (Dev Patel) try to keep guests alive and hidden from the gunmen. Director Anthony Maras (who co-wrote with John Collee) spends a lot of time on the mechanics of the terrorists’ plans, occasionally suggesting the extent to which they were patsies of their ringleader. There’s some strong material surrounding Arjun’s calm under pressure, and the simple—if grossly manipulative—tension of someone trying to remain undiscovered while silencing a crying baby. Yet most of the attempts at generating sympathy for individuals—a married couple (Armie Hammer and Nazanin Boniadi), or Arjun’s anxious wife at home—come off feeling superficial. By the end, it’s hard to see the narrative conveying much more than “well, that was terrifying.”

Film Credits

Official Site: bleeckerstreetmedia.com/hotelmumbai

Director: Anthony Maras

Producer: Basil Iwanyk, Gary Hamilton, Mike Gabrawy, Julie Ryan, Andrew Ogilvie and Jomon Thomas

Cast: Armie Hammer, Dev Patel, Nazanin Boniadi, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Anupam Kher, Jason Isaacs, Alex Pinder, Amandeep Singh, Suhail Nayyar, Natasha Bordizzo and Yash Trivedi

Show Times

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