TIFF 2018 Review: “Hotel Mumbai” (2018) ★★★★★

© kerry monteen photography

Why can’t we people, ordinary human beings, live together happily ever after? Why do we create some cheap excuses to hate each other? Why do we use religion to kill our kind? These kinds of questions are remarkable in a sense; we are smart enough to come up with answers but too ignorant to provide a solution. All these are not addressed to you, my dear reader, but the fact that we continue talking about this means we are way too far from solving the problem that’s poisoned our society and, sadly, is being paid for by the lives of innocent people like yourself and for reasons we will never be able to understand.

How angry I was throughout “Hotel Mumbai” is indescribable. As you may already know, it is based on the true events that took place in November 2008, when ten members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamist terrorist organization, carried out a senseless, meaningless, and mindless attack on the citizens of Mumbai, starting with the train station and continuing their non-stop killing all the way till the Taj Hotel that hosted many VIP guests, especially from the United States.

Australian director Anthony Maras brings a much needed intensity, albeit a very sad one, throughout the movie where you may find yourself watching it with tears rolling down. But there’s no need to worry about it as you are not going to be alone. Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Nazanin Boniadi, Anupam Kher and Jason Isaacs along with every other cast member lead this astounding, nail-biting true story and deliver the best nightmare possible to pay tribute to every unfortunate soul that happened to not survive the attack.

Anthony Maras’ “Hotel Mumbai” is brilliantly executed and filled with emotionally powerful performances that will leave the entire audience stunned to the core. And if there’s anything we should take away from it, it’s that no matter how hard any certain group of people may try to break our spirits by corrupting the mind, religion or whatever morality they’re based on, the closing scene of “Hotel Mumbai” can be used as evidence that people can be killed, but not what’s within them – their heart, love and soul will always be there to fight against the ugliness of the world.

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