Hotel Mumbai [2019] ★★★

Movies based on horrific real events tend to be hit and miss, but it didn’t take “Hotel Mumbai” more than 5 minutes to pull me in and keep me on the edge of my seat. Writer-director Anthony Maras isn’t content in telling things as they were. He wants us to be spectators to the horrors that unfolded in November of 2008, when a group of terrorists attacked a fancy hotel in Mumbai and murdered many people in cold blood.  And we’re right there with the guests and hotel staff, as they find a way to survive while the outside world watches. It’s a hell of a subject, and luckily for us, Maras has just the right actors to carry it through, from Dev Patel to Armie Hammer. I suppose no movie based on real events can be 100% accurate, but the movie never feels exploitative in any way. It might be difficult to watch at times, but the effect is inspiring and thought provoking. Beneath the horrors that took place on that day is a story of survival and heroism. That, and a dose of star power, make “Hotel Mumbai” a must-see.

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