Dev Patel stars in the newly-released trailer for the docudrama-thriller Hotel Mumbai. Patel, of course, rose to fame thanks to his roles in the TV series Skins and the Best Picture Oscar-winner Slumdog Millionaire, more than ten years ago now. He is joined in the film's cast by Armie Hammer - who can currently be seen in theaters playing Ruth Bader Ginsburg's husband, Martin, in the memoir On the Basis of Sex - and Homeland veteran Nazanin Boniadi, in addition to names like Anupam Kher (The Big Sick) and Jason Isaacs (Star Trek: Discovery).
Hotel Mumbai is based on the 2009 documentary Surviving Mumbai, which details the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks that lasted four days and resulted in hundreds of deaths. The film primarily takes place at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel - which was one of multiple locations attacked during the event - and is told from the perspective of characters like the hotel's chef Hermant Oberoi (Kher) and a waited named Arjun (Patel). Meanwhile, Hammer and Boniadi costar as a couple with a newborn child who're staying at the hotel when the attacks get underway.
The Hotel Mumbai trailer is now online, ahead of the film's theatrical release in March. Australian filmmaker Anthony Maras - in his feature debut - directed the drama from a script he cowrote with John Collee (Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World), and further served as an executive producer. The film was originally slated to be released by The Weinstein Company, but was dropped in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and picked up for U.S. distribution by Bleecker Street and ShivHans Pictures. Meanwhile, Netflix will distribute the movie in India and Southern Asian territories.
Hotel Mumbai had its world premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, where it received generally positive reviews from the critics in attendance (it sits at 80% Fresh with an average 7.6 rating after 20 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes). At the same time, the film was criticized by some journalists for crossing the line from respectful dramatization to an exploitative one, and taking advantage of real-world horrors without having any real insight to offer. Other critics, however, have argued Hotel Mumbai is a powerful docudrama that draws heavily from real-life facts and eyewitness accounts, to its benefit.
Obviously, that call is best saved for the actual film and not the trailer (which, for its part, is pretty intense). Either way, Hotel Mumbai isn't being positioned for an awards run and will instead serve as counter programming to the studio films arriving in late March and early April, like Disney's live-acton Dumbo and Warner Bros.' DCEU adventure Shazam!. It may yet succeed there too, thanks to the early word of mouth and draw power of its respected cast.