Hotel Mumbai is a very intense and frightening movie. I witnessed 26/11 very closely, I was in Pune, and that is only time in my life when I kept watching tv for so long and almost gave up. A tragedy has never made me feel so low. So, I knew the story still the tension watching this film got extreme. It was Terrible, scary, but unfortunately real too.
It touched me for two completely different reasons. First, very personal - I had stayed in the same Taj for three weeks, when the movie started I loved each frame of Mumbai and good old memories of those places. Especially when the mention of Shamiana came, I almost traveled back in time. I remember sitting alone in Shamiana one day, lost in my phone. I was traveling for work and was using Indian sim in an old Nokia phone, the one that used to have a snake game. There was a 250 per day limit imposed on messages during those days, and I was running out of messages on that dabba phone. I wondered how I can type that many messages on a dabba phone ! But it was so. My work phone was running out of battery, and I started writing on a beautiful notepad of the hotel, which is still somewhere in my notes. I do not know why, maybe I thought what I am feeling is not going to last forever, so I had to write it. I was reading Brida by Paulo Coelho those days, [not a fan, I have read only two books by him both were gifted to me]. Sometimes, just a word can flash so much in memory… I remembered every single thing from that day, whom I met at what time, what I wrote. Amazingly well. It was a special day. So was the case with the first scene of Leopold Cafe, where I had lost my sunglasses on the same trip. I think among all the things that I have lost, sunglasses will come at the top. So the movie started on a very nostalgic note. …
The second reason was when it took a dark turn, and it became painful to watch. I had to skip at places. I just couldn’t watch it. 26/11 was an emotionally disturbing incident that shook everyone in India. The visuals and the frustration that it continued for so long… it was just horrible and so was watching it on screen.