Movie Review – Hotel Mumbai

TL;DR – This is an incredible, violent, and emotionally visceral film that will grab you in the first frame and not let go  

Score – I honestly don’t know how to score this.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Hotel Mumbai. Image Credit: Screen Australia.

Review

In a now previous life, I taught international relations to university students. This is a large discipline and one of the areas we looked at was terrorism, which happens to be one of the most pressing security issues in the modern world, or not, it’s complicated. All of this meant that when I walked into the theatre to review this film I thought I had a pretty good handle on what I was about to see, as I was quite familiar with the 2008 Mumbai Attacks, and well I could not have been more wrong.

So to set the scene, we open with a boat slowly making its way into one of the many harbours on the Mumbai shoreline. On the boat are eight well-dressed young men who could be there for work in the financial capital of India, but immediately you know that is not the case. Each of them carries a large duffel bag and they are listing to someone give them instructions, directing them to different landmarks across the city. Meanwhile, across the city everyone else is just going through their day as normal, Arjun (Dev Patel) is trying to get his dastaar perfect as he gets ready for work at the Taj Hotel, Zahara (Nazanin Boniadi), her husband David (Armie Hammer), and their nanny Sally (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) are arriving at the hotel after a long flight and everyone is racing to get the room ready for her as her mother is a VIP, and the hotel head chef Hemant (Anupam Kher) is just trying to work out how to get everything done in such a short time. None of them knows the hell that is heading for them.

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Movie Review – Lion

TL;DR – A beautiful story of loss, exploitation, grief, and trying to find out what home means, in the absence of any real information of where it could be.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Lion

Review

It might be one of those universal experiences, you’re walking through a shopping centre, theme park, city street, etc. with your parents and then you look up and realise you don’t know where they are. That feeling of being lost as a real and palpable fear and thankfully for most of us it short lived. However, this is not the case for Saroo, indeed for Saroo it was not a momentary fear, for him it was a life changing event. Lion tells the story of Saroo Brierley (Sunny Pawar & Dev Patel) who one day after working in rural India with his brother Guddu (Abhishek Bharate), joins him on a train ride to a nearby settlement so Guddu can find some night work for them to help their mother Kamla (Priyanka Bose) who works as a labourer to make ends meet. Then Saroo ends up getting stuck on a train which is not going to the next station, but instead travelling 1500km to Calcutta, a place where no one speaks the same language, and as you are five years old as far as you know your mum’s name is ‘mum’. This is a heartbreaking tale of loss, exploitation, and the struggle to find what home means. Now due to the nature of the film, its structure and the very nature that it is based off a true story it becomes quite hard to talk about aspects of the film without discussing the second half of the film. So for this reason from here on into the end, a SPOILER warning is now in place.

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Movie Review – Chappie

TL;DR – This is in many respects a flawed film, but I could not help but love it.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Review

Chappie is a film with a lot of faults and I know it is a film that a lot of people dislike, but I just can’t help but like it. The basic premise of the film is that in an attempt to reduce the crime rate in Johannesburg the police purchased a fleet of policing robots ‘scouts’ from an American company Tetravall. However, the robots programmer Deon Wilson (Dev Patel) has discovered something more, true AI before everything goes pear shaped.
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