Mumbai Diaries 11/26
originator – Nikhil Advani
spit – Mohit Raina, Konkona Sincharma, Tina Desai, Shriya Dhanwanthari, Natasha Paradwaj, Satyajit Dubey, Mronmai Deshpande, Prakash Belwadi

A ground-level look at a national tragedy, The Mumbai Diary 26/11 is perhaps the best thing Nikhil Advani has ever done. This is not to say he set himself a high standard – we are, after all, talking about the man who directed Delhi Safari and Katie Patti, And Creating an Empire – But The Mumbai Diaries is a powerful show by all accounts, particularly Indian.

It’s no secret that in a rush to fill some sort of creative (and market) void during the pandemic era, banners in India seem to have lit up every semi-formed idea ironed out from under their doors, sacrificing storytelling at the altar of commerce without a second thought.

Watch the trailer for ‘Mumbai Diaries 26/11’:

The sensibilities of Mumbai Diaries, as with all of Advani’s work, are strongly prevalent, but there is an air of sophistication in the film industry that we don’t often see in local broadcast projects. Except for a few, of course. Basically the story of One Long Day set during the Mumbai terrorist attacks of 26/11, the eight-episode drama is broad in scope, but largely confined to the fictional emergency room of Bombay General Hospital, led by reckless doctor Kaushik Oberoi (Mohit Raina) ).

The fascinating pilot episode also introduces three freshmen on their first day on the job, a passionate social worker named Chitra Das (Konkona Sincharma, exceptional, as usual), assorted cops (determined and honest), and a reckless boss who must maintain order in a time of crisis and dozens of patients in need. to medical care. Meanwhile, a few blocks away in the Taj Hotel (they gave it another name here), Doctor Oberoi’s wife Ananya is stuck in the middle of a siege.

Easily the show’s biggest achievement is how well it stars not only Dr. Oberoi and Chitra Das – Raina and Sensharma have helped deliver deeply felt performances – but also supporting secondary characters such as security guard Vasu, and Samarth, the hospital’s hard-working handyman. . Boil to the surface in the wake of the attacks.

After suffering a huge personal loss, Samarth attacks the floundering resident doctor behind the ears, insulting Mirza, for being wholly Muslim. Their intense encounters over the course of a turbulent night culminate in a scene so laughable that you’ll wonder whether you should admire the boldness of the storytelling or catch Advani and co-director Nikhil’s simplistic take on the decades-old conflict.

In a move that could be described as stunningly bold or foolish (you decide), The Mumbai Diaries, towards the latter half, decided to deviate from the documented facts, bragging in the area of ​​Tarantino’s revisionist history. It’s unclear why he chose to swing so wild, especially since he was already landing all his punches. The show squanders about two episodes on this fanciful nonsense, concluding with a 35-minute episode that’s little more than a pointless footer.

However, there is a lot to admire here. Despite falling into the ‘Good Muslim’s cup’ and routinely throwing a grenade in a delicate face, Mumbai Diaries has its heart in the right place. Sure, it settles down on a preachy tone at the end, but when the sermon is rooted in humanity, some concessions can be made.

It’s remarkable how Amazon Prime, in the same year it was dragged through the mud (but not for the right reasons) to make Tandav, has gone ahead and produced something that would surely catch the ire of IT cells. Releasing movies like Malik and Kuruthi is one thing, both of which have fortunately slipped under the radar of the wrong kind of people, but Mumbai Diaries in Hindi, and about an event in our recent history that affected the entire nation. I expect fireworks.

Konkona Sincharma in a snapshot from the Mumbai Diaries.
Konkona Sincharma in a snapshot from the Mumbai Diaries.

Politics that would please Kabir Khan aside, stylistically, the Mumbai Diaries might remind you of another Malayalam movie: Abu Lover Virus, about how several government agencies worked side by side during the 2018 Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala. This movie was basically an infection in Kozhikode, The Mumbai Diaries has the spirit of a social justice warrior. Not only is it a call for unity, but it briefly flirts with topics such as mental health and domestic violence, although neither of these have been examined for their full potential.

But like Virus, it’s a group in the truest sense of the word. Mohit Raina shouts a lot, but on several occasions, he is asked to convey the most complex emotions through silence, and he lives up to the occasion. This cannot be said of Shreya Dhanwanthary, though. The same actor who was so brilliant in 1992’s SCAM is back to play a journalist here. But her character, Mansi, makes Jake Gyllenhaal’s Nightcrawler’s Lou Bloom look like Raveesh Kumar; It’s pure poison, and no matter how hard the show tries to retrieve it, it just doesn’t happen.

However, to his credit, the Mumbai diaries are not entirely motivated by the plot. He’s willing to take his foot off the gas at crucial turns, giving the story and characters some necessary breathing space. In moments like these, the show explores Dr. Oberoi’s turbulent marriage, and how he’s able to step away from his personal problems and focus on his high-pressure job. He’s addicted and part of him knows it.

And as much as he’d like to believe he’s following the Hippocratic Oath when he insists on treating a terrorist despite police protests, he really does because he’s a good guy.

Also Read: Hotel Mumbai movie review: Dev Patel starred in a healing cinematic experience; The antidote to populist propaganda

I know nothing about you, but it is so interesting to watch a show so intrigued by the idea of ​​decency that it is ready, for a brief moment, to risk everything and to humanize even the position of the most beautiful butcher. But that’s what the Mumbai diaries are all about; And while it’s not as sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, it shares the same indomitable spirit as the city it so lovingly honors.

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