Mumbai Diaries

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Mumbai Diaries 26/11 Review

Mumbai Diaries 26/11 creator: Nikkhil Advani

Mumbai Diaries 26/11 Cast

Mohit Raina, Konkona Sensharma, Shreya Dhanwanthary, Natasha Bharadwaj, Tina Desai, Satyajeet Dubey, Mrunmayee Deshpande, Prakash Belawadi

Mumbai Diaries
Mumbai Diaries

Story of Mumbai Diaries

Mumbai Diaries 26/11 recreates a fictional version of the most diabolical terror strike on the city on 26th November 2008. The show drives its story from the perspective of a government hospital that eventually becomes the battleground between the cops, doctors and the terrorists.

Mumbai Diaries Review

26/11 – a date that is etched in the memory of every Mumbai citizen, as the day when the city’s famous spirit came under a ghastly attack from across the border. And as a journalist, who covered the 26/11 terror attacks, non-stop for all three days, I can confidently state that what transpired in those chilling nights of real terror was far more gut-wrenching and dramatic than any depiction on reel. And Mumbai Diaries is no exception. Directors Nikhil Advani and Nikhil Gonsalves open with the most telling visual of the story. That of the terrorists spraying bullets on the journalists at the Metro cinema signal from a moving Mumbai police jeep. As the show progresses, many such visuals from the real event are recreated and the writers (Yash Chhhetija, Nikhil Gonsalves and Anushka Mehrotra) add a lot more ammo to their partly fictional screenplay. But that’s where the biggest problem lies.

It’s anyway a tall order to do justice to such a highly action-packed event, which Mumbai Diaries only manages to do in parts. Rest of the time, the show is busy trying to juggle too many subplots and backstories. Most of them never come across as wholesome or convincing. All they do, is drag a chaotic and busy narrative, putting it in an endless loop of multiple characters, their relationships and problems that it is hard to keep track of or even care for, after a point. Adding more drama into the real events like the deaths of brave police officers, seems forced.

Mumbai Diaries
Mumbai Diaries

That said, what the show does deliver is a rigorous account of the night of terror when things go horribly wrong. A lot of what happened in those nights is covered in a relentless way and some of it does land with conviction. The setting of a crumbling government hospital (by Priya Suhas) is symbolic of the crumbling healthcare infrastructure of the time that was at pains dealing with an attack of this magnitude. The show’s overall tonality is dark and there is a lot of bloody action, not for the weak hearted.

Despite the sheer number of actors in this web-series, most of them get enough screenspace, but not all of their screentime is interesting. Mohit Raina is well cast as the headstrong Dr Kaushik, but his backstory and relationship issues seem utterly forced. Konkona Sen Sharma is royally wasted in a role that doesn’t have a real purpose just like many other characters that add nothing more than the runtime and clichés. Shreya Dhanwantary’s nosy and inquisitive reporter act is repetitive, insensitive and juvenile in the way it’s performed and written. Ditto for Vasundhara Kaul, who plays her boss. It’s time filmmakers stop depicting reporters and media persons as gross caricatures.

All in all, it’s a hard-hitting show alright, made with a lot of blood and sweat too, which shows onscreen, but in a bid to pack in too much action and drama, Mumbai Diaries ends up becoming a never-ending saga of insipid characters rather than a taut thriller of a life-altering real event.

Mumbai Diaries Trailer

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