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Friday, September 22, 2023

Mumbai Diaries 26/11: Why it’s Arguably the Best Hindi Web-Series of 2021

The Mumbai 26/11 attacks continue to stir emotions as it is a wound that is still (and will continue to be) very raw.

Now, the highly awaited medical drama Mumbai Diaries 26/11 has been launched on Amazon Prime Video.

The fictional series about first responders amid the deadly terror attack on India’s economic capital city is quickly becoming one of the most riveting medical dramas of recent times.

Directed by Nikkhil Advani along with Nikhil Gonsalves, the 8-episode series is about events that occur in a government hospital and the obstacles experienced by medical staff/frontline workers (including reporters) while dealing with such a monstrous crisis.

Here are a few reasons that make this Amazon Original series a must-watch.

A Poignant Medical Drama 

Firstly, the most insightful aspect is the fact that it provides a voice for the medical personnel during the ambush.

While the series depicts the difficulties faced by doctors, nurses, paramedics, and hospital staff in saving lives after the Mumbai terror attacks, it also emphasises their internal struggles and challenges.

It is a stark reminder of how during times of calamities, it is the medical staff who constantly bear the brunt.

In fact, given the fact that Cama Hospital was attacked too, it provides an awareness of how much the frontline workers and patients bravely fought these attacks.

At the same time, neatly balanced with the emotions and objectivity they are conflicted with… Especially when it comes to the internalised politics of the hospitals and hierarchy within them.

This fictitious series is a step forward in the medical drama genre, providing a different and more empathic perspective on the medical staff.

Powerful Ensemble Cast

Mumbai Diaries 26/11 features an eclectic star cast featuring established actors like Konkona Sen Sharma and Mohit Raina.

They are cast with rising stars like Shreya Dhanwanthary, Tina Desai, Prakash Belawadi and Satyajeet Dubey, Mrunmayee Deshpande and Natasha Bharadwaj who play trainee doctors with such confidence and command.

Each actor has set his or her teeth into the respective characters, giving their performances a sense of realism and authenticity.

The appealing fact about this series is that every character has layers to them, which is steadily unveiled with each episode.

Realistic, Hard-Hitting Direction

Nikkhil Advani is known for telling gritty, true-to-life stories with a crime as a backdrop in titles like D-Day and Batla House.

Through those films, he brilliantly portrayed vulnerable emotions and how characters overcome those for the greater cause.

A similar approach is adopted in Mumbai Diaries 26/11 and it leaves one shaken up within.

While accurately portraying the horror of those deadly terror attacks, the series delves deeper to chronicle the internal and external struggles encountered by the series’ principal characters.

The series’ mix of real and reel elements, which is Nikkhil Advani’s signature, assures that viewers will be engrossed till the end.

A Different Perspective of Mumbai’s 2008 Terror Attacks

Cinema has attempted to showcase the Mumbai 2008 Terror Attacks incident through films like The Attacks of 26/11 and Hotel Mumbai.

However, this series is arguably the most soul-stirring and compelling depiction one has ever seen.

Often on Indian television, we’ve seen shows like Sanjivani and Dil Mill Gaye which showcase the lives of doctors in a more coming-of-age way, which have also been great.

But here, the premise is understandably darker and quite timely – even more so due to the fact that we’ve all witnessed the immense pressure COVID-19 has put Doctors under.

Overall, Mumbai Diaries 26/11 is an unsettling watch but presents very important stories.

Through its fascinating storyline and powerful performances by the ensemble cast, the series elicits a strong emotional connection with the viewers.

The direction and cinematography make you feel as if you’re in the middle of the action.

With the combination of all of these features, the series will undoubtedly be binge-watched in a single day.

More importantly, it acts as a stark reminder of how many atrocities India has endured by such attacks.

Visual representations like this is a pivotal wake-up call and sincere effort in presenting fortified life saviours.

Watch our interview with actor Mohit Raina here: 

Mumbai Diaries 26/11 is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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