Mumbai Diaries 26/11 is a fictional narrative based on real-life events that occurred on November 26, 2008 in Mumbai, directed by Nikhil Advani and Nikhil Gonsalves. Terrorists besieged the largest parts of the city in the country, launching strikes in numerous locations that killed nearly 200 people. The web series seeks to present an ambitious and human story about the nightmare over the course of eight episodes, each titled after a medical word and lasting around 40 minutes.
The mere mention of the 26/11 terrorist assault will give you the goosebumps if you have lived in Mumbai for decades or were in the city and were sensible enough to realise the atrocities. Mumbai Diaries 26/11 is a fictionalised account of what happened in the government hospital and how they were fighting not only terrorists but also the system as a whole.
No one has ever seen the conflict from the perspective of a hospital, where doctors fought to save lives that were on the edge of being lost. More than the terrorists invading the city, Mumbai Diaries 26/11 is about the frontline workers who put their lives on the line and stood that night for those who were gasping for air.
Writers Yash Chhhetija, Nikhil Gonsalves, and Anushka Mehrotra are just like the doctors when it comes to getting on the job. We all know what happened and how it was a collective failure, so they reach the stage where frontline workers are drafted into the fight.
Nikkhil Advani and Nikhil Gonsalves’ direction aims to elicit strong emotions in the audience. They don’t conceal the drama as a documentary; instead, they unleash a barrage of emotional bullets that land precisely on target. Priya Suhas’ production design, which comes to life in every part of this organisation, aids them. The camera of Kaushal Shah adds to the experience. As everyone rushes to save life, he catches the tension in long shots. He manipulates the camera, giving it jerks and pushes to keep the sense genuine.
Sanyuktha Chawla Shaikh deserves special mention for writing the dialogues without considering the audience strata. Individuals from the same region converse in their local tongue rather than broken Hindi. Mumbai is a city that thrives on its diversity.
Raina is dedicated and sufficiently gloomy as Dr Oberoi, and his fondness for the f-word has been employed cleverly for both humorous and curmudgeonly effect. Mrunmayee Deshpande and Tina Desai are both excellent as trainee doctors with different backgrounds and personalities. Nurse Vidya Paul is played by Adithi Kalkunthe, and Nuse Cherian is played by Balaji Gauri and they all play their part well.
Furthermore, Konkona Sensharma is consistently great as Chitra Das, a non-practicing doctor who is the head of Bombay General’s Social Services department. Her character is traumatised, but she is also strong-willed and adamant in her beliefs.
In a nutshell, Mumbai Diaries is a hard-hitting show that you should definitely watch.