Mumbai Diaries Season 1

The horrors of 26/11 are something that has a deep emotional impact even today. Not surprisingly various filmmakers have chosen this topic and have weaved films or in this case a web series around it. For example there is Ramgopal Varma’s 26/11 which dealt with how the terrorists travelled and launched several attacks at various places in South Mumbai. There is also Hotel Mumbai which was about a hotel staff risking their lives to save the frightened guests from the terrorist’s attacks. Out of these two Hotel Mumbai fared better in dealing with the subject.

Directors Nikhil Advani and Nikhil Gonsalves pen a fictional story around the real incidents and place it in a crowded, chaotic and low- on resources government hospital. The doctors and the nurses here are stretched to their limits as victims of gunshots are wheeled in one after another on the night of November 26. However Mumbai Diaries is much more than just a medical thriller.

Yes medical professionals are at the core of the story but they are not the only people under the spotlight. Mumbai Diaries is about the spirit that the people showed on that particular day. It was a night where the city didn’t have the option of dozing off. It had to be on its toes to fight this unexpected attack.

Nikhil Advani and Gonsalves are successful in making a thriller that is both heartbreaking and heart stopping. It is a series which hits you in the guts and makes you applaud the courage and determination that both men and women showed in the face of death.

The series begins off with the introduction of surgeon Kaushik Oberoi (Mohit Raina). He is a workaholic professional who loves taking on challenges but with the tendency of flaunting rules and regulations in the line of duty. The hospital’s chief played by Prakash Belawadi has issues with Kaushik but he still supports him as Kaushik is a highly efficient doctor. The second most important character in the hospital is that of Chitra Das (Konkana Sen Sharma). She is someone who has had a bad marriage; Chitra is struggling to get rid of scars that have left an impact both in her mind and heart. But she isn’t someone who let’s that come in her way of duty. Chitra does her job with utmost seriousness and never shies away from fighting for what she believes is right.

On that fateful day three trainers come to work under Kaushik Oberoi. These are Divya Parek (Natasha Bardhwaj), Sujata Ajawale (Mrunmayee Deshpande) and Ahan Mirza (Satyajit Dubey). Out of these three Divya Parek comes from a privileged section as her grandfather had funded a key wing of the hospital. Alongside the hospital there is also a five star hotel under attack.

An important part of Mumbai Diaries is how the directors deal with the media’s ethically questionable choices. This is presented through the character of Mansi Hirani ( Shreya Dhanwarthy). Mansi is someone with a single minded agenda of chasing scoops. In order to achieve her goal she puts herself and also others at risk. Through her character the directors make some valid points, the redemption arc of Mansi has also been done well.

Another good thing about the series is the restraint that has been shown. The series never pits one nation against another or one religion against other. It is about terror versus humanity. Mumbai Diaries never loses sight of the emotions that are at play.

The female characters of the show are something that can easily have a show of their own. The two female characters that particularly stand out are that of Konkana Sen Sharma and Nitya Bardhwaj.

The etching of the characters is another applause worthy point. There are no superheroes here. All of them come with their own inner demons and are forced to confront them. They all have their backs to the walls both professionally and personally.

Mumbai Diaries is crowded with lot of actors and each of them have their moment. The ones who stand out are Mohit Raina, Konkana Sen Sharma, Nitya Bardhwaj and Satyajit Dubey. Mumbai Diaries is a web show which should been on the top of your list.

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