Mumbai Diaries 26/11 creator: Nikkhil Advani
Mumbai Diaries 26/11 solid: Mohit Raina, Konkona Sensharma, Shreya Dhanwanthary, Natasha Bharadwaj, Tina Desai, Satyajeet Dubey, Mrunmayee Deshpande, Prakash Belawadi
It was the twenty sixth of November, 2008. Ten extremely skilled terrorists, armed with machine weapons and explosives stuffed of their backpacks, got here off a ship off the Gateway of India, and unleashed demise and destruction at numerous factors in South Mumbai. 26/11 has been rightfully dubbed the worst terror assault on Indian soil: the brazenness and the stunning swiftness with which it was unleashed, and the horrific demise toll (172 lifeless, over 300 injured) laid naked the complacence and obtrusive lacunae in India’s inside and exterior safety.
The repercussions of these three days and nights (the final of the hostages had been rescued on the morning of the twenty ninth, with 9 out of ten terrorists shot lifeless; Ajmal Kasab was taken into custody, and hanged, after a protracted trial, in 2012) proceed to be felt to at the present time. Several movies have been already made on the occasion: amongst probably the most distinguished ones are Ram Gopal Verma’s ‘The Attacks of 26/11’ and Anthony Maras’ ‘Hotel Mumbai’.
‘Mumbai Diaries’, the new web series created by Nikkhil Advani, is a selectively fictionalised account of that first darkish evening. In the best way it melds reality and fiction, you don’t fairly know whether or not what you’re watching truly occurred, or whether or not it a figment of creativeness of the writers of collection’, even when a number of moments clearly look manufactured for the needs of heightening drama, and suspense. You know you’re being performed, however you let or not it’s, as a result of the remainder of it really works as a hospital drama set within the backdrop of the assaults. And no, this isn’t India’s ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, although we spend a big period of time with medical doctors and surgeons and nurses, in scrubs and masks, going about their jobs and saving lives beneath excessive circumstances.
We see the terrorists enter the ‘Palace’ Hotel, the place a brave hospitality govt (Tina Desai) is intent upon main a bunch of visitors to security. We see them careering down Marine Drive in a captured ambulance (how they handle to whistle up an ambulance in an odd metropolis isn’t proven; these are tiny particulars which stick in your craw). We see a pushy TV reporter (an efficient Shreya Dhanvanthary, who had higher cease accepting anymore journalist roles for worry of being typecast) chasing the story, and we see her relaying again these dribbles of data to the newsroom, jostling with the others of her tribe, being stored at bay by safety personnel exterior the resort and the hospital beneath siege.
But for probably the most half the collection stays centered on the Bombay General Hospital (standing in for the real-life Cama Hospital), whose medical doctors and nurses went above and past the decision of obligation to are inclined to the grievously wounded, as they stored being introduced in from the bloody taking pictures on the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminal (CST). The Taj Hotel known as the Palace Hotel, in contrast to the opposite spots overrun by the terrorists which go by their actual title — Leopold Cafe, Nariman House, Trident. Why does ‘Mumbai Diaries’ use some actual names, some fictional? We by no means actually get to know.
What we do know is that after creating homicide and mayhem in different designated spots, a few terrorists assault the hospital the place two of their males are held, one saved by the maverick-brilliant- mercurial Dr Kaushik Oberoi (Mohit Raina). He and his colleagues, Chitra Das (Konkona Sen Sharma), the pugnacious hospital boss Dr Subramaniam (Prakash Belawadi), the indefatigable nurses (Balaji Gauri, Adithi Kalkunte), the three new trainees (Satyajeet Dubey, Natasha Bharadwaj, Mrunmayee Deshpande), the wardboys vividly create an ecosystem in a typical ‘sarkari’ hospital, all grungy corridors and bedraggled wards, the place the requisition of life-saving tools is first achieved in triplicate, after which sat upon, however the place the life savers do what they’ve taken the oath to: save lives.
What throws their efforts in aid is that ‘Mumbai Diaries’ raises its stakes proper from the start: the killing of one of many hospital employees happens early. By which period we’re already, efficiently, invested. The mindless demise of the nurse, a mom and spouse, going house to her youngster’s birthday, looks like a blow. It doesn’t draw back from exhibiting blood and exit wounds, and surgical scalpels and dripping IVs, and some operations achieved on the fly, proper there within the Emergency Room (ER), as a result of effectively, there have been no Operation Theatres (OT) obtainable, and the affected person had no time.
It’s pressing. It’s swift. And it feels genuine. And that’s what carries the day for these bravehearts on the frontline of the terror-attack, as they undergo that evening, with some attention-grabbing again tales coming to mild. You are conscious that some transferring elements of this entire don’t work in addition to the others, and a few of it’s simply too busy. An aged feminine affected person comes off annoying; a couple of characters in cranium caps are proven pointedly cheering the law enforcement officials who emerge battered however unbowed, having misplaced a few of their finest males. Not all Muslims are terrorists, yep, acquired that. Some of the motion stretches for too lengthy. The function too-eager TV reporters play in exacerbating the scenario performs out within the regret on Mansi’s face.
Caste prejudice rears its ugly head, too. An injured policeman pushes out bigotry alongside together with his groans. He is not going to let both a Muslim or a low caste physician are inclined to him: the collection chooses to name the latter ‘tum log’. Plus, a trainee physician is proven fighting melancholy. Can’t let a sizzling button subject like psychological well being go previous, can we? Das, accountable for social companies, has flashes of unresolved trauma from systematic spousal abuse, and this half I wished extra of as a result of Sen Sharma does it so effectively. It additionally provides the collection to discover the chance that not all of the terrorists had been monsters; one among them shares a movie track with a terrified prisoner. Err, sure.
There’s some mawkishness and acquainted Bollywood prospers on show. But on the entire, many of the performances, excessive or low pitched, really feel credible, and proper, given the context. Hysteria is a given when somebody is shot to demise, and breaths their final in your arms. Even when Dr Oberoi (Raina carries this present with full confidence) goes full tilt on the I’m-so-bright-get-outa-my-way, you need, faintly, to cheer. Because he’s doing what he is aware of how you can finest: to yank a life out from the jaws of demise.
‘Mumbai Diaries’ works as a result of it believes in itself, in Mumbai’s indomitable spirit, and in its makes an attempt to sew collectively the religious-linguistic range of its denizens, which override the communal jibes from some characters. It works finest when, in between all of the craziness, among the characters cease to take a breath, and alternate glances or phrases, that lead you to imagine that there’s nonetheless some goodness on the earth. And that there’ll day after this lengthy, darkish evening.