Hotel Kanthmandu is the new movie starring Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and Alyvia Alyn Lind is due for release next month. Here is a preview.
Dr. Peter Tumble (Brad) is an eminent seismologist working for The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). He is married to successful fiction writer Janine Prowling.
The union alas is childless. And they are experiencing additional stress in their marriage for two reasons: Firstly, Janine had recently been accused of plagiarism in England but was successfully acquitted thanks to her London lawyers Schillings. Janine pleaded that she has psychic gifts that during sleep inadvertently tapped into other people's minds without her knowing. Large sections of her successful novels she claimed had thus been, in this way, transmitted to her while she slept. The fact that they were poorly rehashed transcripts from other authors, as the prosecution alleged, had simply never occurred to her. She was acquitted on psychiatric evidence. Unfortunately the plaintiff committed suicide shortly afterwards. The Plaintiff's estate still owes Schillings £2.3 million in legal costs. The deceased's books are all mysteriously withdrawn from book stores all around the world. Whereupon, the deceased's husband throws himself under a tube train in Piccadilly Circus.
A celebratory banquet is thrown by Prowling at The Freemasons Masonic Hall in London to which many in the British legal profession as well as Tony Blair and Gordon Brown belong. Prowling makes a very moving speech about the importance of compassion in legal cases brought to court, to a standing ovation.
Peter, on the other hand, had unsuccessfully predicted a large earthquake for Washington city just a year before. After appearing on television to warn of the impending disaster, mass panic ensued resulting in many accidents and eleven deaths. Investigators subsequently thought it odd that Peter had predicted the epicentre of the earthquake would run along the very street where his bank was situated.
It was discovered later that he owed the bank a considerable amount of money in gambling debts and a large quantity of explosives had been found in his garage. He was, nevertheless, acquitted of malicious intent. In the world of earthquake prediction however, mud sticks; and the promotion he had been hoping for, like his earthquake, never materializes.
Now, middle-aged, the malcontent Peter and his wife decide to adopt a child and fly off to Nepal to finalise the details. They arrive in Kathmandu and stay at the best foreign hotel there, owned by an old flame of Janine's, German Rudolf Stag. They are overjoyed when the little girl (Alyvia) they had sought for so long is presented to them. Prowling throws a banquet at the hotel for local dignitaries on the importance of compassion in international adoption cases, to a standing ovation.
After the celebration, Janine who has had only sixteen vodkas and a reefer, retires to her room. Unable to sleep and with her little girl nestled in her arms, her eyes wander to a caged Nightingale that is on the verandah. Suddenly, she knows beyond doubt that an earthquake is imminent.
She wakes her husband to tell him.
"How do you know honey?" he asks rubbing his eyes.
"The way it pecked its feathers."
He dismisses her fantasy citing statistical reports from memory of misassociations between songbirds preening their feathers and the shifting of tectonic plates above the vast, magma fields of the earth's asthenosphere.
"I know," she replies. "But there is a full moon."
Peter lies awake all night, thinking.
Next day, he consults with some colleagues at the local university where he is lecturing on the importance of compassion in scientific research. They conduct a series of seismic tests; and find out, to their amazement, that Janine was right. A massive earthquake of magnitude 8 is due within days. What he has to do now is alert the authorities.
Unfortunately, Nepal is in the throes of an election and Prime Minister Akash Masheen knows that if he issues a red alert to the inhabitants the chances of his Communist Party regaining power in the Constituent Assembly elections would be seriously imperilled. So, he ignores Peter's warnings and pretends nothing is happening. Peter then tries to alert the military but is thrown in jail as a suspected CIA agent on the very day he had intended to leave with his family. All seems lost.
Then the quake hits; demolishing not only the prison but half of Kathmandu. The special effects in these scenes are mind blowing. After many hours digging himself out of the debris, and free again, Peter races to the hotel only to find it in ruins. His wife however has escaped unharmed thanks to the knowledge and ingenuity of Rudolf.
As he sees the couple passionately embrace through the dust, Peter must know then and there if he has lost everything or not; but Janine puts his mind at rest.
"No Peter, it is not what you think. We thought everyone was dead except us. Okay, we were locked for hours in the hotel bar half-naked and out of our minds, and I could not help but remember what dynamite Rudolf could be in the sack; and we were forced to drink a lot of vodka because we were thirsty... but nothing happened. You must believe me!"
"She ish tellin' the truth, mein Herr", says Rudolf. "You are a lucky man er... P... P... Peter. A very lucky man. Unt, so am I... to... to... drei Janine?... to have eshaped with my closes off... er... on."
Then, they suddenly remember that their adopted daughter is buried under a mountain of rubble. There follows an intense rescue bid by students and volunteers that ends happily when the little girl is rescued, the most poignant scene in the whole movie. The special effects are mind blowing.
They leave immediately for Baltimore and live happily ever after. Oscars are being mooted.