Death and one’s awareness of mortality are key things in Hotel Salvation, yet the film is surprisingly charming father-son story filled with laughter and unexpected moments of tender and humanity. Co-writer and Director Shubhashish Bhutiani has chose melodrama opting for everyday realism and understated humour to narrate a story of overworked middle aged man who must take time off from his demanding job to accompany his father to Varanasi to breath his last.
77 years old Dayanand Kumar played by Lalit Bahl announces at dinner table one evening that he believes his time has come and he wants to travel to the ghats of Varanasi to achieve Salvation before he passes. His son Rajiv played by Adil Hussain has a lot on his plate. Mounting work load at the office and preparation for his daughters wedding, but he agrees to take his father when its clear that the old man wont back out.
Now the Mukti Bhawan in the film’s title refers to the ramshackle lounge where the gentlemen check into when they arrive to the holy city, An establishment that houses elderly people at the end of their lives with a strictly 15 days residency limit. Dayanand settles in immediately, making friend with a kind widow who as it turns out has been staying at the lounge for some 18 years. Rajiv torned between responsibility of his father and anxious to get back to work is deeply distress. Now expectedly film cast the sharp eye on strain relationship between father and son who has co inhabitant a small room in lounge are thrown into the deep end left to address unresolved issues.
Bhutiani reveals the gift of finding beauty in everyday situations and creating fleshed out characters that speak and behaves like real people.
Adil Hussain is in excellent form as man struggling to make sense of his priorities. its fine measured performance and the actor conveys so much substance with such little outward expression.
Lalit Bahl in the role of stubborn old father is very good too.
Geetanjali Kulkarni and Palomi Gosh who plays Rajiv’s wife and daughter respectively delivers very fine performance.
The acting is top notch and performance power the perceptive writing. Hotel Salvation is as much celebration of life complete with all its complexities and paradoxes on the harsh reality of getting old and die,
Its both heartbreaking and uplifting. beautifully shot and although languidly paced Bhutiani delivers an evocative drama that is surely got to be one of the best films you will see this year.