Mumbai Diaries: A gripping tale of frontline workers' efforts to save lives during 26/11 Mumbai terror attack
New Delhi, September 25, 2021
The night of 26/11, 2008 shook the city of Mumbai, the financial capital of India, to its core with a handful of terrorists from across the border striking terror at various locations of the metropolitan city.
Even as the attacks sent a shiver down the spine of the residents of the city, frontline workers in a hospital in the city toiled to save lives of those injured in the terrorist strikes.
Mumbai Diaries 26/11, being streamed on Amazon Prime Video, is a fictional story of frontline workers at a hospital in Mumbai standing against all odds to save innocent lives as a group of mercenaries from across the border terrorised the city.
These frontline workers -- doctors and nurses -- had just one objective, that of saving every single life amid the mayhem caused by the terrorist strike.
While many books, films and documentaries have dealt with terrorist attacks and the strong defence by the Indian armed forces, not much has been said or written about the role of the frontline workers during the grave emergency that struck Mumbai on the night of November 26, 2008.
Directed by Nikhil Advani, Mumbai Diaries 26/11 tells an account of events that unfold in the Emergency Room of a government hospital, while exploring the challenges faced by the medical staff at the hospital as well as other first responders across the city of Mumbai in dealing with a crisis of immense magnitude.
An emotional tale of an unending battle by doctors and nurses at the Bombay general hospital to save lives amid a flood of victims of the terrorist strikes brought in at the hospital, Mumbai Diaries 26/11 comes across as a glorious tribute to these frontline workers who stood between life and death for the hundreds of victims of the terrorist strikes on that deadly night.
Leading the dedicated team of frontline workers at the hospital is Dr Kaushik Oberoi (Mohit Raina) for whom the uppermost priority is saving the lives of the victims without worrying about protocol and government procedures.
His utter disregard of protocols have earned him wrath of police as well as his seniors, including the medical superintendent of the hospital Gopal Subramaniam (Prakash Belawadi).
As the victims of the terrorist attacks begin to stream in the hospital on that fateful night you see each doctor and nurse at the hospital imbued with the selfless spirit of saving lives above everything else.
Three interns -- Ahan Mirza, Sujata and Diya Parekh -- who happen to join duty on the fateful day find themselves straight away getting into action as the task of saving human lives requires their urgent attention.
The entire hospital seems akin to a war zone where saving every possible human life seems to be the foremost priority.
While focussing on the endless toil by these frontline workers to save lives during the monumental tragedy, the series also brings forth a cauldron of emotions expressed by these people as they narrate stories of caste and gender discrimination and parental apathy experienced by them over the years.
While on the one hand Mumbai Diaries 26/11 highlights efforts by frontline workers and police to save lives it also throws light on the pernicious role of the media during the tragedy. It shows that for the media houses, breaking news of the battle between the terrorists and security forces seems their only priority, even if that endangers the lives of ordinary people and security personnel engaged in the battle.
The screenplay is engaging and keeps you emotionally charged all through the eight episodes of the series.
The dialogues are incisive and bring out the spirit of selfless service by the frontline workers.
Raina comes up with a stellar act as Dr Kaushik Oberoi for whom there is no greater priority than saving human lives even if it means disregarding protocols. This is undoubtedly his best performance till date.
Konkona Sen Sharma is impressive as Chitra Das for whom caring for a senior citizen whose life seems inconsequential is as important as saving the life of victim of a terrorist attack
Tina Desai pitches in with an inspiring act as security incharge of the palace hotel who wants to ensure that the life of every person present in the hotel is saved.
Natasha Bhardwaj, Mrunmayee Deshpande and Satyajit Dubey are competent as hospital interns Diya Parekh, Sujata and Ahan Mirza. Natasha is specially endearing as a girl living with the trauma of parental apathy.
Shreya Dhanwanthary comes up with a sprightly act as the news reporter who gets herself admitted to the hospital to get some breaking news.
The rest of the cast including Prakash Belawadi, Indraneel Bhattacharya and Sandesh Kulkarni lend able support.
My rating; 4/5