“This is the Taj hotel, you’re very safe here”, Dev’s Patel character says in the teaser of Anthony Maras’s Hotel Mumbai, unaware of the danger on the horizon. Elsewhere, Anupam Kher’s senior chef tells his staff, “Remember always. Here at the Taj, guest is god,” not knowing know that this commitment is soon going to become a matter of life and death.
Also starring Armie Hammer, Nazanin Boniadi, Jason Isaacs, Suhail Nayyar and Tilda Cobham-Hervey, the American-Australian co-production is a fictionalised recreation of the November 26, 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, where more than 160 people were killed during 12 coordinated strikes across the city. The film focuses on the siege on the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, where guests were held hostage for close to three days.
“The terrifying assault brings together guests and staff of the luxurious hotel...in a desperate fight for survival,” according to the official synopsis. “This story celebrates humanity, compassion, courage, resilience and the unwavering desire to survive.”
Kher’s character, Hemant Oberoi, is reportedly inspired by the chef of the same name who, along with his team, helped rescue several guests during the attacks. Hammer and Boniadi play a wealthy couple on a visit to Mumbai, while Patel plays Arjun, a newly promoted waiter.
The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and opened to critical acclaim. Hotel Mumbai will be released in 2019. The date is yet to be announced.