-The director doesn’t shy away from recreating the scenes that might be a little disturbing to watch
Starring: Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Nazanin Boniadi, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Anupam Kher, Jason Isaacs
Release: March 29
It’s no ‘Hotel Rwanda’. But the grievousness of the 2008 attacks on the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in India are still felt throughout the film. The film sets to portray the stories of the guests and staff who were trapped inside the Hotel for four days during the attack.
Dev Patel stars as Arjun, a poor but kind-hearted waiter, working under the strict supervision of celebrity chef Hemant Oberoi. On the fateful day, an American man and his wife check into the hotel with their newborn baby and nanny. Just as the dinner service is about to commence, gunshots are heard echoing in the neighbourhood.
In a panicked frenzy, the hotel doors are shut. Outside, screaming locals are begging to be let in to escape the madness outside. As they are let in, the four gunmen also enter the hotel and proceed to unleash the horror that will forever be remembered in the hearts of every Indian, and the world at large.
The story is not focused on one hero but more on the impact of the attack on the guests, the country, and the bravery of the staff members who risked their lives by staying behind to help the guests from the claws of the merciless gunmen.
The film pays homage to the brave staff, the lost lives and, on a flip side, gives insight into the gunmen’s narratives. Somehow, in between the gunmen’s directive for committing ruthless murders, sporadic comedy is thrown in. Which is confusing, as it guilts the audience at chuckling during such a heinous crime.
But somehow it works. The film is a rollercoaster of emotion, inciting anger, fear and anxiety in the viewers. The director doesn’t shy away from recreating the graphic scenes that might be a little disturbing to watch, especially to those directly affected by the attack. Should one have the guts to stomach the gruesome, then the film is a must-see.
Star Rating: 4 stars