Hotel Mumbai Blu-ray Review

The true story of the Taj Hotel terrorist attack in Mumbai. Hotel staff risk their lives to keep everyone safe as people make unthinkable sacrifices to protect themselves and their families. Check out Ralph Potts’ Blu-ray review of Hotel Mumbai.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

90

Details:

Studio and Year: Universal – 2018
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 124 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH, Hindi, Spanish
Starring: Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Jason Issacs, Nazanin Boniadi, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Anupam Kher
Directed by: Anthony Maras
Music by: Volker Bertelmann
Written by: John Collee and Anthony Maras
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: June 18, 2019

“Based on True Events”

Synopsis:

“Directed by Anthony Maras (The Palace) and written by John Collee (Happy Feet, Happy Feet Two) and Maras, Hotel Mumbai is a true story of humanity and heroism that vividly recounts the 2008 siege of the famed Taj Hotel by a group of terrorists in Mumbai, India.” – Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

My Take:

Terror strikes in the heart of Mumbai, India, as members of Lashkar-e-Taiba storm the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in a series of coordinated attacks throughout the city. Amid the gunfire and mayhem, a brave chef and kitchen worker decide to risk their own lives to try and protect the frightened guests. As the militants continue their assault on the hotel, a desperate couple must do whatever they can to protect their newborn baby.

Based on the true events that took place in India in 2008 Hotel Mumbai proved to be a compelling and suspenseful drama that speaks to the human condition as seen through a diverse group of people that were forced to come together in an effort to survive. I am ashamed to say that I really don’t recall the tragic and violent attack which claimed the lives of over 100 people or the story of the heroes that prevented to deaths of countless others. Some may find the nature of the telling to be exploitative and even unnecessarily violent in depiction but, I didn’t see it in the light.

There is a visceral edge to the narrative as it shapes the violence and those behind it with unnerving displays of wanton disdain for their targets. As I watched I could feel my hands tightening on the arms of my chair as the level of suspense built, starting right from the middle of the first act right on through to the finale. The cast, as a whole were terrific, with Dev Patel shining the brightest. Hotel Mumbai is an engaging and powerful docudrama that depicts the chaotic unpredictability, horror and life or death circumstances of the massacre that occurred on that fateful day.

The film left me thinking about it after the credits rolled which is a testament to both its subject and telling. In that light it certainly achieved its goal.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide: 

The film contains disturbing violence throughout, Bloody images and language.

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialog Reproduction: 
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA

Video: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: 
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail: 
  • Color Reproduction: 
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression: 

Hotel Mumbai comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound.

This is a solid high definition video presentation from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Images are resolved with appreciable detail that reveals plenty of discernible texture during close up camera shots. The exterior pans of the locations depicted in the story are clearly rendered while offering lucid long-range visual acuity that allows the physical structure of buildings, streets and objects in backgrounds to be discernible. The film doesn’t utilize an extensive chromatic palette but tonal balance is on the money which leaves colors looking quite natural and pleasing. Fleshtones appear lifelike in depiction. White and black levels are appropriately balanced which provides punchy whites, and slightly elevated, but stable blacks.

The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio surround mix does a nice job rendering the film’s soundtrack. Dialog has excellent intonation and clarity which allows even subtle changes in vocal pitch to be appreciable. This is a well-balanced audio presentation that when called upon, engages the entire system. Dynamic range is excellent and the soundstage has an open expression that allows its elements to extend well into the room. Discrete rear channel activity isn’t extensive however, the elements of gunplay, explosions and the like, provide an enriching level of immersion which is generated by a seamless sound field. These moments are empowered by near field sound effects, robust dynamics and enriching low frequency effects.

Bonus Features:

  • Story and Cast – Featurette
  • Finding the True Story – Featurette
  • Humanity Within Tragedy – Featurette
  • Real-Life Heroes – Featurette
  • DVD
  • Digital Copy

Final Thoughts:

Based on true events Hotel Mumbai is an engaging and powerful docudrama that depicts the chaotic unpredictability, horror and life or death circumstances of the massacre that occurred at the Taj Hotel in Mumbai India in 2008. It comes to Blu-ray from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring excellent technical merits mated with a decent supplemental package that includes insights from the cast/crew. Hotel Mumbai isn’t a feel-good film but, it’s an inspirational story of survival in the face of adversity. It comes recommend on Blu-ray and deserves a place at the top of the rental queues of genre fans.

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems