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film review

Nazanin Boniadi, Dev Patel and Armie Hammer in Hotel Mumbai.MARK ROGERS Photographer/Courtesy of VVS

Hotel Mumbai

Directed by: Anthony Maras

Written by: Anthony Maras and John Collee

Starring: Dev Patel, Armie Hammer

Classification: 14A; 123 minutes


3 out of 4 stars

Hotel Mumbai is a visceral depiction of the small acts of bravery that can occur when people are victims of large-scale violence. The film depicts the real-life terrorist attacks by the Islamist militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which killed more than 160 people in Mumbai, India, from Nov. 26 to 29, 2008. The group’s most publicized attack was an assault on the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. The film rounds up an ensemble of hotel guests (such as a wealthy architect, played by Armie Hammer, staying with his wife, baby and nanny) and workers (such as a heroic waiter, played by Dev Patel) who endure horrific violence as they fight against their captors and try to escape. Filmmaker Anthony Maras has made a chilling thriller, using extreme violence and high-wire tension to impressive effect, but it lacks deeper characterization. An all-out assault on the senses, Hotel Mumbai will stay with you, though it’s hard to watch.

Hotel Mumbai opens March 29.