Nikkhil Advani's 'Mumbai Diaries 26/11' on Amazon Prime Video, a fictional retelling of the horrific 26/11 attacks, has a very true core somewhere. It shows the bravery and heart of the city and its people, yes, but it also doesn't shy away from the darker side of the tragedy as well — the horror, the fear, and the prejudice.
'Mumbai Diaries 26/11' portrays the events of the 26/11 attacks through the eyes of various protagonists at various different locations over 8 episodes. There is the fictional Bombay General Hospital, the Taj Palace (which was renamed to The Palace) and the streets of Mumbai. If that seems like your cup of tea, here are 5 more reasons to check it out.
1. Willingness to talk about difficult topics
'Mumbai Diaries 26/11' does not shy away from talking about issues that in these times would not be shown. The show talks about anxiety, depression, whether or not a terrorist should be given treatment and even showcases the prejudice that some of the characters hold against others. The show also took a stand on the callousness and responsibility of the media in covering the event.
2. Fleshed out characters
One of the things the show does really well is how well it treats its characters and how well the actors portray them. All of them have personal stakes and motivations that drive them. Dr Oberoi (played by Mohit Raina) is an obsessive workaholic because he can't stand to face his marriage falling apart. Chitra Das (played by Konkona Sen Sharma) was the victim of abuse and the trauma has not truly left her. In addition to these stellar performances, the show also has done a great job to make us sympathise for and understand some of the minor characters.
3. Camera work & direction.
'Mumbai Diaries 26/11' is a very slick show. In the first episode itself, you're greeted with some very skilfully shot long takes. The camera work is quite well done overall, but in these moments it shines through. When the camera is not executing oners, it's setting the tone for the highly strung action pieces.
A testament to how well paced the show is how the makers have portrayed around 24 hours of events in an 8 episode series. You never stay at one location for too long, especially in the beginning. There are some exciting action sequences and very tense moments where you can feel some of the gut wrenching terror. But these are also interspersed with very human moments that allow this thriller to breathe.
5. A hospital drama set in India
As a fan of medical shows, I was happy to see how they brought the genre to India. Especially in the first half of the show, there is a real sense that a lot of care was put into the hospital sequences of the show. Setting it in an understaffed, underfunded hospital really gave you a sense of what these doctors are working with is such a change from the medical shows you get to see from the US.
Overall, the show stays true to itself. And that honesty shines through in the writing as well as in the performances. 'Mumbai Diaries 26/11' has a lot to offer for a lot of people. So pick up your stethoscopes and check out the series on Amazon Prime Video. And if you want a bit of a sneak peek, check out the trailer below.