True story engages

Callum Hunter, 9/10South Western Times
Armie Hammer, Tilda Cobham-Hervey and Nazanin Boniadi recreate the traumatic experience of a family staying at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.
Camera IconArmie Hammer, Tilda Cobham-Hervey and Nazanin Boniadi recreate the traumatic experience of a family staying at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. Credit: AP

Anthony Maras take a bow.

Hotel Mumbai is based on the true story of the devastating terrorist attack on the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in 2008 and some of the tragic fates of both the victims and attackers.

This movie is well shot, well written, engaging and pulls no punches.

There have been movies based on disasters, sieges and military events made before, but almost none of them come close to gripping you like this one does.

The tension builds progressively and spikes to the point of being almost unbearable at several points throughout the plot – it is so easy to put yourself in the shoes of the characters.

At 125 minutes in length, it is at the longer end of the spectrum but it never actually shines through and I was never left bored or impatient.

Australia’s beloved Dev Patel features as Arjun, a hard working and dedicated waiter caught in the chaos and is joined on screen by Jason Isaacs, Nazanin Boniadi, Armie Hammer, Anupam Kher and Aussie Tilda Cobham-Hervey with brief appearances from Natasha Liu Bordizzo and Angus McLaren.

In a slight disappointment, it is the Aussies that prove to be this film’s biggest (but still very minor) gripe.

No doubt or debate that Australians were caught up in the 2008 tragedy, but I could not shake the impression Bordizzo and McLaren were there as a by-product of the Australian involvement in the production.

Nevertheless, this movie jumps through the screen, grabs you by the shoulders and does not let go and will leave you sitting in your seat mind-blown, but be warned, it is not for the faint hearted.

- 9/10

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails