Adil Hussain and Lalit Behl star in this endearing family tale of embracing life in the face of death
By Jas Pandohar
When death comes knocking it arrives with no warning. Not so for the residents of Hotel Salvation (Mukti Bhawan), who, sensing their impending demise, travel to Varanasi to check in for their final days on earth.
The existence of these unique hotels in India’s holy city, whose main purpose is to cater for guests anticipating their imminent death, forms the basis of writer/director Shubhashish Bhutiani’s award-winning first feature.
His endearing family tale follows the tribulations of Rajiv, an over-worked, middle-aged son, forced to accompany his 77 year old father, Daya, who is seeking salvation. Renowned actors Adil Hussain (Life of Pi), Lalit Behl (Titli) and Geetanjali Kulkarni (Court) lead the well-chosen cast delivering exceptional performances with great subtlety.
India / 2016 / 99 mins / Cert PG
Hotel Salvation releases in cinemas UK-wide by the BFI on 25 August 2017. It is one of the highlights of the BFI’s current India on Film season (running April to December 2017).
Permitted to stay for just 14 days, Rajiv expects to return home with his stubborn baba. But as time goes on and Daya nowhere close to death, Rajiv is caught between honouring the old man’s wishes to stay put and juggling the demands of his family and employer back home.
While rooted in Indian values and culture, Hotel Salvation transcends borders with its themes of family ties and intergenerational relationships, revelations and finding peace and contentment during the later stages of life.
A remarkable accomplishment by its 23 year old filmmaker, Hotel Salvation is a must watch for those who enjoy cinema that’s thought-provoking and leisurely in style. Fans of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel will delight in this.