TIFF review: Hotel Mumbai

Dev Patel gives an exceptionally moving performance in this drama recalling the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai

HOTEL MUMBAI SPEC D: Anthony Maras. Australia. 125 min. Sep 9, 10 pm, Scotiabank 1 Sep 15, 9:30 pm, Winter Garden. See listing. Rating: NNNN

In 2008, terrorists attacked India’s most populous city over four days, and one of the targets was the opulent Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. Based on true events, director Maras’s debut feature revisits the attacks, switching between several points of view including those of the gunmen, a loyal hotel waiter (Dev Patel) and an interracial American couple (Armie Hammer and Nazanin Boniadi) visiting with their baby and nanny in tow.

Although audiences who remember watching the news during this time will know how things end, Maras manages to sustain the tension, thanks in part to Volker Bertelmann’s haunting score.

The ensemble cast is excellent, with Patel giving a particularly moving performance. Empathy and emotions certainly run high in this two-hour nail-biter.

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