The one emotion that I have never understood and refuse to accept is hate. Hate is one of those emotions that does not come naturally to children: It has to be taught. That is why films like “Hotel Mumbai” are so essential for people to see and remember; when evil shows itself, there are still good people that will stand up and fight against it. 

“Hotel Mumbai” tells the story of the terrorist attacks that took place in Mumbai, India, from Nov. 26-29, 2008, when a group of 10 gunmen carried out a series of coordinated shootings and bomb-ings across the city. The attacks claimed the lives of more than 166 people, with more than 300 wounded. The film centers on the actions of the Taj Hotel staff, who risked their lives to keep everyone safe when the terrorists started shooting at the hotel.

This movie is one everyone needs to see so the actions of the Taj Hotel staff are not forgotten. With a chance to leave and save their own lives, they were asked by the hotel head what they wanted to do – and they chose to stay and help their fellow man in their hour of need. 

Those types of actions are inspiring to me and need to be taught to future generations to keep the darkness at bay. While the staff members were different from their guests on an economic level, the movie shows how love and compassion have no boundaries and how, deep down inside, we are all connected. 

I went to see the film with my father, forgetting that while he was visiting Mumbai, Bombay, in 1993, his hotel was a part of 12 bomb explosions that targeted hotels, office buildings, banks and markets. As we were leaving the theater, he recalled the smoke in the hotel and getting a first aid kit to help someone who was injured. 

The drive home was very quiet with him only remarking that “it brought back a lot of memories.” The key to his hotel room still hangs on a hook in his office at the house. I remember him calling home at the time to tell us that he was OK. It really shook me up.

There are moments that present themselves in life that test the kind of character a person has. I would hope when a moment like that is given to me I would have enough courage to face it head-on.

“Hotel Mumbai” puts you in the middle of its story, with the disappointing thing about this movie its limited release. However, it is worth the drive to see. I give this movie 10 out of 10 stars. 

This film is rated R for disturbing violence throughout, bloody images and language. It runs for 123 minutes.  The movie is playing at AMC at the Park Mall in Arlington, located at 3861 S. Cooper St., and at the Angelika Film Center in Dallas, located at 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane. 

For more information about the film, visit https://bleeckerstreetmedia.com/hotelmumbai.

Andrew Branca is an award-winning journalist with the Waxahachie Sun. Contact Andrew at andrew@waxahachiesun.com or by phone at 972-268-7022. Be sure to check out his movie review videos online at www.waxahachiesun.com.

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