Hotel Mumbai is a nail-bitingly tense dramatisation of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
Now, my main concern about this movie was this that it was going to be a It Shouldn’t Happen To A White Guy movie. This is when a movie is made about an event that affected the lives of hundreds of people of colour, but the movie follows the one white guy who lives through it. Luckily this was not the case. A handful of white people have lines and only two could be said to be major characters. The main character is Arjun, the hero of the piece, a sikh waiter who stays behind to save the guests of the hotel, at risk to his own life.
This is something that I hadn’t really grasped at the time in 2008. The hotel staff were initially able to escape as the attackers at first were not aware of the staff stairways, exits and entrances. Many staff in fact stayed behind voluntarily in order to clear the guests out the hotel. Many of them paid for this with their life. Over half the casualties inside the hotel were staff members.
This film is brutal and intense. I had to decompress for a bit after seeing it. But it isn’t a film that comes off as exploitative or gratuitous, but a film that genuinely attempts to pay tribute to the bravery and heroism of the Taj Hotel staff.