Hotel Salvation (PG)

Hotel Salvation (PG)

Directed by Shubhashish Bhutiani
Picturehouse, Liverpool
1st – 6th September 2017

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

Mainly set by the Ganges River in India, this is a mesmerising film to watch.

The fact that it is directed and written by a 26-year-old, Shubhashish Bhutiani, in his debut feature makes it even more compelling, inasmuch it is a highly spiritual story.

Upon realising that he is shortly due to die an elderly man Daya (Lalit Behl) asks his son Rajiv (Adil Hussain) to escort him to a hotel bordering the Ganges in Varanasi, which people, in a similar frame of foreboding, go to in order to attain salvation.

Hotel Salvation could be termed a meditative pre-final resting place. Guests are permitted to stay there for no charge for no longer than 15 days, although one or two still remain there after several years! Their former premonition of their own demise being way off-beam.

The holy city of Varanasi makes an ideal location for the film. It has been described as like no other in the world, where spiritual, religion and geographical ecosystems converge and meet.

The cinematographer Mike McSweeney creates wonderful imagery, most notably the night-time scenes on and by the sacred river. Magical.

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