The Night Manager, the latest Dinsey Plus Hotstar series, a remake of the British series of the same name, feels weird, considering how they split the story into two parts. The four-episode series that will have its part 2/ season 2 getting released in June feels like watching a thriller in a theater, and the projector guy decided not to show the second half. Created by Sandeep Modi, The Night Manager starts off well but doesn’t get to that high point where one would get excited about the second season.
Shaan Sengupta works as the night manager in a star hotel in Dhaka. Riots are happening in the streets due to the Rohingya crisis, and the atmosphere is tense. A gangster named Freddie Rehman had kept his underaged wife in the hotel. The human in Shaan wanted to help that girl. In that attempt, he got some vital information about an Indian industrialist named Shailendra Rungta. We see how Shaan’s life changes drastically after he gets involved in RAW’s efforts to confront Rungta in The Night Manager.
Sandeep Modi seems to be Hotstar’s go-to guy for a remake. He was part of Ram Madhavani’s Aarya. And it was a great show that adapted Indian sensibilities to foreign content very effectively. By using topics like Bangladesh’s refugee crisis and Sri Lanka’s sinking economy, Modi transports The Night Manager to its Indian domain very convincingly. In the first 2 episodes of the series, they have built the drama very captivatingly, and the presentation has that Aarya-like conviction. But when you see the hero starts to do the adventurous stuff, the presentation is not that convincing. And it felt like the makers weren’t making much effort to push it away from genre cliches.
As the ex-Navy officer who unwillingly accepts the mission to expose a deadly and influential man, Aditya Roy Kapoor fits the part. His set of expressions that always has an element of mystery and his well-maintained physique makes him a sensible choice for the role. Anil Kapoor, with all his experience, keeps Rungta in a significantly calmer zone. One could sense the detailed observation of Shelly in Mr. Kapoor’s performance. Shobita Dhulipala, as of now, is only using her physique in the show. But looking at the trailer they have attached at the end of season 1, the next part will give her some challenges.
Saswata Chatterjee as Brij Pal, aka BJ, is playing the roadblock in Shaan’s plans. But he keeps that character in a realistic yet dramatic space. The most delightful performance of the series came from Tilotama Shome, who was really good as the RAW official Lipika. The relentlessness of the character and the quirkiness were presented effectively by Shome.
The making has that minimalistic dialogue approach which greatly helps the series in the initial episodes. The shifts happening in the story are very drastic. The character is moving from one location to another to get over certain emotional traumas, which adds to the curiosity. But when the cat and mouse game starts to happen in the story, there is that familiarity that the making can’t really hide or distract the audience from. And, like I said, this four-episode structure of a first season feels insufficient as you hope to see a cliffhanger ending with sufficient details about characters.
The Night Manager, with its unusual entry point to being an espionage thriller, is definitely an exciting series. But there needs to be more content here to hold your interest. So the best way to watch this series might be to wait till June so that you will have a probably 8-episode series to watch in one go.
The best way to watch this series might be to wait till June so that you will have a probably 8-episode series to watch in one go.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended