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Mumbai Diaries 26/11 Is Moving In Spite Of The Gaping Wounds



Mumbai Diaries 26/11

Mumbai Diaries 26/11(Amazon Prime Video)

Nikkhil Advani
Created By
Nikkhil Advani
Mohit Raina,Konkona Sen Sharma,Shreya Dhanwanthary
Set against the backdrop of the terror attacks of November 26, 2008, “Mumbai Diaries 26/11” plays out in a hospital and depicts the untold story of doctors, nurses, paramedics, and hospital staff, who worked tirelessly to save lives during the attacks that ravaged the city.

Rating: *** ½

Mumbai Diaries 26/11 Movie Review: Man lies soaked in blood writhing in pain.

“Are  you okay?”  a  colleague asks . This kind of impervious kneejerk reaction  is  splattered all over Mumbai Diaries. The  8-part  series  purports to  honour the medical professionals  at a Mumbai hospital on the  night  of  26 November  2008 when a 4-day reign of terror was  unleashed on  the  city that  never sleeps.

 Countless  film have revisited the  26/11 nightmare. Mumbai Diaries  26/11 adds  nothing to the  jostle  of fictionalized recreations of  26/11 attack in Mumbai. Instead it pours in  the clichés  into the plot rendering the  conflicts  not just  overfamiliar but also exasperatingly overdramatized.

 Three  interns Sujata(Mrunmayee Deshpande),Diya( Natasha  Bhardwaj) and  Ahaan Mirza(Satyajit Dubey) arrive at  the hospital on the  day of the attack.We all know  why one of them is  a  Muslim. He  gets a chance to  set right the imbalance caused  by Jihadis.To his credit Dubey as  the token reasonable Muslim presence,  manages to flesh out  a life for his character beyond the  tricks of tokenism.

 Not too many  of the  plethora of players are  able to go beyond the trite conventions. The talented Mohit Raina as the kahin-bhi-shuroo  doctor Kaushik Oberoi(he  performs  life saving surgeries  in  the hospital  corridors)  looks like he would burst a few blood vessels. Every characters carries the heavy burden of a  back story. Abused wives , breached marriages, parental  intervention, even the  1984 riots(!!!)….Writers  Yash Chhetija, Nikhil Gonsalves, Anushka Mehrotra  and  Sanyuktha Chawla Shaikh pile on the drama  at  a high-risk rate  often  diluting the  main crisis with suplots that seem to have  been inserted only to keep  the series going for 8 episode of more than  40 minutes each.

 If  the  plot had restricted itself to the terror attack the length of this engaging but overlong plot could have  been reduced to  a watchable dimension. Instead we have characters begging to be rounded off, none more so than Konkona Sensharma. Playing the social worker   and resident-busbody Chirtra Das , Konkona wears the same  sullen expression throughout the series which I’ve seen her  sporting for the last 12 films.Lady, loosen up.

Equally obnoxious is Shreya Dhanwanthary the scoop-obsessed news journalist whom someone  should have spanked on her tosh-tosh ages ago. Her  antics while  people  are  sprayed with bullets all around , are  insensitive enough to  qualify as  psychotic. 

And the terrorists?They speak and behave  as if they are  in this bloodbath for the  fun(which  they probably were).What  cancels out the series’ excruciating excesses   is  the  police-terrorist  confrontations in the corridors  of  the hospital. They are  illustrative of  the limited manpower and unlimited courage that the police force demonstrated that  night to contain the  terror attack.

Sandesh Kulkarni as  ACP Tawde delivers  the series’ most sincere performance. Every inch the firefighter ,Tawde saves  the day.Among the rest  of  the cast Tina Desai as an events  organizer at the ill-fated  Taj(here for reasons best known  to the  producers named The Palace  Hotel) tries to put  up a brave show  in the  midst of a growing sense of  doom. Not unlike what  I felt  during several  passages  of  the craggy series which is salvaged by an innate   deference for  the  frontrunners who risked  their lives to save  Mumbai  from terrorist.

 Now who will save us from the  never-ending fictional accounts of what happened  that  night?

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