‘Hotel Mumbai’ released in UK, an embarrassment for Pak diaspora


LONDON: ‘Hotel Mumbai’ which is based on the brutal 26/11 Mumbai terror attack was released in the United Kingdom on September 27.The film directed by Anthony Maras stars Anupam Kher, Armie Hammer, Dev Patel, and Nazanin Boniadi in pivotal roles among others. The film is set to hit the screens on October 11 in India.

Anupam Kher took to Twitter to make the announcement alongside a picture of the cast of the film.

“Our movie HotelMumbai releases today, 27th Sept. in the United Kingdom. It is based on the terrorist attacks on 26/11 in Mumbai and on the iconic Taj Mahal Mumbai. Please watch this most important film of our times.

The film charts true story of the attack on the plush Taj Mahal Hotel situated in the heart of the city in which dozens of people including guests and hotel workers were killed during a siege carried out by Pakistan based Islamist militants. The film was premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, last year.

Furthermore, the film was also screened on Sky TV on Tuesday night which according to a rough estimate thousands of people watched it as big publicity was going on for some time.

Infact, the two-hour movie is very embarrassing for Pakistani diaspora and also negative impression for religion of Islam as dialogue and conversation are absolutely against the spirit and true message of this peaceful religion.

The contents at the end of the movie are further embarrassing that the culprits of this tragedy are still free in Pakistan.

Regretfully, Pakistan Government has not taken any practical action or reaction on this film since its exhibition on 7th September last year.

Britain’s almost all print media published reviews on the film in different style expressing their views. Mike McCahill writes for Guardian newspaper that tograpple most directly with this brutalising century, what the movies have generated so far is the based-on-true-atrocities cycle initiated by Paul Greengrass’s United 93. It now churns out Australian director Anthony Maras’s middling Hotel Mumbai. In its unflinching, often virtuosic carnage, the cycle may be as close as the commercial cinema has been allowed to get to the new extreme cinema that was so in vogue across Europe as the planes struck the World Trade Center.

Maras’s film demonstrates how, without Greengrass’s time-stamped precision, such projects can assume an air of the blandly composite – and even of the generic disaster movie, undercutting any seriousness of intent. The onlookers to this recreation of the November 2008 attack on Mumbai’s Taj Mahal hotel seem a very Irwin Allen-like ragbag. Waiter Dev Patel and chef Anupam Kher represent the locals, while the guests are rugged architect Armie Hammer, his mutely beautiful wife Nazanin Boniadi and shady Russian Jason Isaacs (the latter introduced inquiring as to the size of an escort’s nipples). Maras and co-writer John Collee spy something positive in the enforced bonding of these disparate types, but the bodycount flattens the homilies.

For an hour, Maras maintains a basic hide-and-seek tension, as his players sporadically break cover to bundle themselves into pantries and linen closets, and he makes attempts to humanise the killers. It’s just uneasy viewing in many ways: rotely mechanical in its conversion of suffering into set pieces, morally questionable as it inserts authentic, blood-spattered cameraphone footage into fictional activity. The action increasingly bears the rehearsed, prosaic look of an extended evacuation drill.

Art born of outrage has to be more rigorous – and we might also contemplate what merit there is in guaranteeing prospective terrorists a filmed account of their misdeeds.