Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Anthony Maras|
|Music by||Volker Bertelmann|
|Cinematography||Nick Remy Matthews|
|Budget||$17.3 million ($25 million AUD)|
|Box office||$21.1 million ($31.5 million AUD)|
Hotel Mumbai is a 2018 Australian–American biographical thriller film directed by Anthony Maras and co-written by Maras and John Collee. The film is inspired by the 2009 documentary Surviving Mumbai about the Mumbai attacks in 2008 at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in India. The film stars Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Nazanin Boniadi, Anupam Kher, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Jason Isaacs, Suhail Nayyar, Nagesh Bhosle and Natasha Liu Bordizzo.
The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on 7 September 2018, and had its Australian premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival on 10 October 2018. The film was released in Australia on 14 March 2019, and in the United States on 22 March 2019.
On 26 November 2008, young waiter Arjun reports for work at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai, India, under head chef Hemant Oberoi, who reminds his staff that "Guest is God". The day's guests include British-Muslim heiress Zahra and her American husband David, with their infant son Cameron and his nanny Sally, as well as ex-Spetznaz operative Vasili.
That night, 10 terrorists, directed by a man known as "the Bull", launch a coordinated assault against 12 locations across Mumbai, including the hotel. As the local police are not properly trained or equipped to handle the attack, they can only wait for special forces to arrive from New Delhi. In the ensuing chaos, Arjun, David, Zahra and Vasili are trapped in the hotel restaurant with several other guests while Sally, unaware of what is going on, remains with Cameron in their hotel room.
David sneaks past the terrorists and successfully reaches Sally and Cameron. Arjun follows Oberoi's instructions and escorts the guests under his care to the Chambers Lounge, an exclusive club hidden within the hotel, where they hope to remain safe. David, Sally and Cameron attempt to regroup with them, but David is captured by the terrorists and taken hostage while Sally and Cameron are trapped in a closet.
Meanwhile, police officer DC Vam and his partner decide to enter the hotel in the hopes of reaching the security room so they can track the terrorists' movements. Arjun attempts to escort a mortally wounded guest, Bree, off the premises so she can reach a hospital. The two encounter the police but Bree panics and flees, only to be shot dead by a terrorist. Arjun escorts the police to the security room, and they discover the terrorists are about to break into the Chambers Lounge using the identification of a policeman they killed earlier. The police officer DC Vam order Arjun to stay put and attack the terrorists, successfully wounding one before being driven off. Against Oberoi's advice, Zahra and Vasili decide to leave the lounge to escape but they are also caught and taken hostage.
Eventually, special forces arrive, and the Bull orders the terrorists to move to the final phase of their plan: burning the hotel down. The terrorists leave their wounded member, Imran, to oversee the hostages, and the Bull eventually tells him to kill them. Imran executes both David and Vasili, but spares Zahra when she begins reciting a Muslim prayer, ignoring the Bull's command to shoot her regardless.
Arjun regroups with Oberoi and evacuates the remaining guests, stumbling upon Sally and Cameron in the process. The special forces kill the remaining terrorists, and Zahra is evacuated by crane, reuniting with Sally and Cameron. After the hotel is secure, Arjun returns home and reunites with his wife and daughter. Meanwhile, The Taj Hotel staff is seen re-opening the Hotel.
A closing monologue reveals that those responsible for the attack remain free to this day. The final scenes show a memorial to the staff and guests who fought in the Battle of Hotel Mumbai.
- Dev Patel as Arjun
- Armie Hammer as David
- Nazanin Boniadi as Zahra
- Tilda Cobham-Hervey as Nanny Sally
- Anupam Kher as chef Hemant Oberoi
- Jason Isaacs as Vasili
- Natasha Liu Bordizzo as Bree
- Nagesh Bhosle as DC Vam
On 11 February 2016, it was announced that Dev Patel and Armie Hammer had been cast in the film, along with actors Nazanin Boniadi, Teresa Palmer, and Suhail Nayyar, while Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Anupam Kher were in negotiations; Palmer and Coster-Waldau ultimately were not involved. John Collee and Anthony Maras wrote the screenplay, which Maras directed, while Basil Iwanyk produced the film through Thunder Road Pictures along with Jomon Thomas from Xeitgeist, Arclight Films' Gary Hamilton and Mike Gabrawy, Electric Pictures' Andrew Ogilvie, and Julie Ryan.
In June, Tilda Cobham-Hervey joined the cast after Teresa Palmer pulled out early into her second pregnancy, and in August, Jason Isaacs was cast. On 7 September 2016, Natasha Liu Bordizzo joined the film to play Bree, a tourist caught in the attack.
In May 2016, The Weinstein Company acquired U.S. and U.K. distribution rights to the film. However, in April 2018, it was announced that The Weinstein Company would no longer distribute the film. In August 2018, Bleecker Street and ShivHans Pictures acquired U.S. distribution rights to the film.
The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on 7 September 2018. It was theatrically released in Australia on 14 March 2019, by Icon Film Distribution, and the United States on 22 March 2019. It is scheduled for a United Kingdom release in September 2019, by Sky Cinema and NowTV. Sky Cinema is promoting this as a "Sky Cinema Original" in the United Kingdom.
Netflix was set to distribute the film in India and other South and Southeast Asian territories. However, Netflix later dropped the film, after a contractual dispute arose with Indian distributor Plus Holdings.
The film opened in four theaters in the U.S., on 22 March, and expanded to 924 on 29 March, grossing $3.1 million in that second weekend.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 75% based on 186 reviews, with an average of 6.91/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Its depiction of real-life horror will strike some as exploitative, but Hotel Mumbai remains a well-made dramatization of tragic events." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 62 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by PostTrak gave the film an overall positive score of 77% and a 50% "definite recommend".
Peter Debruge of Variety magazine wrote: "Sitting through the harrowing events again nearly a decade later could hardly be described as entertainment, and the film plays to many of the same unseemly impulses that make disaster movies so compelling, exploiting the tragedy of the situation for spectacle’s sake."
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