Now playing in limited release and expanding into more theaters this weekend is Hotel Mumbai. Based on the 2008 siege of the famed Taj Hotel by a group of terrorists in Mumbai, India, the feature debut of writer-director Anthony Maras shows he’s a real talent behind the camera. While the film is not an easy watch, Maras manages to seamlessly weave together a number of different storylines so you’re constantly on the edge of your seat. The terrorists committing these heinous acts acted without mercy, and just when you thought someone was safe bullets rang out and they were cut down. Hotel Mumbai pulls no punches on what it was really like for the people that lived through this awful event.
To make it as real as possible, Maras went through the actual phone intercepts of the terrorists and read numerous accounts from survivors. What is depicted on screen isn’t some “Hollywoodized” version of what happened. He also managed to show why the people that carried out the attack were prime targets for radicalization. Trust me, Hotel Mumbai is extremely well-made and absolutely worth your time and money. The film stars Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Bollywood legend Anupam Kher, Nazanin Boniadi, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, and Amandeep Singh.
Shortly after seeing the film I spoke to Dev Patel and Armie Hammer. They talked about what it was like collaborating with Anthony Maras, how Maras played the sound of gunfire in-between takes to make the actors feel anxious, how one of the places where Patel filmed Slumdog Millionaire was a place the terrorists attacked in 2008, how the film shows all sides of the situation, why the people that carried out the attack were prime targets for radicalization, what they each took away from working with Aaron Sorkin on previous projects, and more.
Check out what they had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about, the synopsis, and trailer.
Dev Patel and Armie Hammer:
- What it was like working with Anthony Maras and how he approached the material.
- What it was like on set trying to capture what really happened in 2008.
- How Maras placed speakers on set to have gun fire go off on set and in between takes to make the actors feel anxious.
- How one of the places where Dev Patel filmed Slumdog Millionaire was a place the terrorists attacked in 2008.
- How the film shows all sides of the situation including why the people that carried out the attack were prime targets for radicalization.
- What did they each take away from working with Aaron Sorkin?
Here’s the official synopsis for Hotel Mumbai:
A gripping true story of humanity and heroism, Hotel Mumbai vividly recounts the 2008 siege of the famed Taj Hotel by a group of terrorists in Mumbai, India. Among the dedicated hotel staff is the renowned chef Hemant Oberoi (Anupam Kher) and a waiter (Academy Award-Nominee Dev Patel, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, LION) who choose to risk their lives to protect their guests. As the world watches on, a desperate couple (Armie Hammer, CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, ON THE BASIS OF SEX and Nazanin Boniadi, “Counterpart,” “Homeland”) is forced to make unthinkable sacrifices to protect their newborn child.