Now playing in limited release and expanding into more theaters this weekend is Hotel Mumbai. Based on the 2008 siege of the famed Taj Hotel by a group of terrorists in Mumbai, India, the feature debut of writer-director Anthony Maras shows he’s a real talent behind the camera. While the film is not an easy watch, Maras manages to seamlessly weave together a number of different storylines so you’re constantly on the edge of your seat. The terrorists committing these heinous acts acted without mercy, and just when you thought someone was safe bullets rang out and they were cut down. Hotel Mumbai pulls no punches on what it was really like for the people that lived through this awful event.
To make it as real as possible, Maras went through the actual phone intercepts of the terrorists and read numerous accounts from survivors. What is depicted on screen isn’t some “Hollywoodized” version of what happened. He also managed to show why the people that carried out the attack were prime targets for radicalization. Trust me, Hotel Mumbai is extremely well-made and absolutely worth your time and money. The film stars Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Bollywood legend Anupam Kher, Nazanin Boniadi, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, and Amandeep Singh.
Shortly after seeing the film I spoke to Anthony Maras. He talked about why the short films he made were instrumental in helping him get ready for his debut feature, how he prepared to make the movie, how the film is a plea for peace and denouncement of any kind of violence, and how the film showed all sides of this attack.
Check out what he had to say in the player above and below is the official synopsis and trailer.
Here’s the official synopsis for Hotel Mumbai:
A gripping true story of humanity and heroism, Hotel Mumbai vividly recounts the 2008 siege of the famed Taj Hotel by a group of terrorists in Mumbai, India. Among the dedicated hotel staff is the renowned chef Hemant Oberoi (Anupam Kher) and a waiter (Academy Award-Nominee Dev Patel, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, LION) who choose to risk their lives to protect their guests. As the world watches on, a desperate couple (Armie Hammer, CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, ON THE BASIS OF SEX and Nazanin Boniadi, “Counterpart,” “Homeland”) is forced to make unthinkable sacrifices to protect their newborn child.