TV Review: The Night Manager (UK, 2016)

The Night Manager is a blend of elegance and a much more British 007 with Tom Hiddleston’s Jonathon Pine being a hospitable and intelligent but a little naïve agent. Accompanied with classical and modern music, the opening credits is an interesting masterpiece, mixing up symbols of military, terrorism and the rich, indicating the show isn’t just another spy and post-911 story.

The Night Manager follows Jonathan Pine, a hotel night manager, who becomes entangled in a serious situation involving an international arms trade. He is soon contacted by a British Secret Intelligence member Angela Burr (Olivia Colman) and she recruits him to investigate businessman Richard Roper (Hugh Laurie) who is connected to the trade. Pine goes through risks to infiltrate Roper’s circle and gaining his trust but soon Roper suspects a traitor among his entourage.

The first episode sets up the series nicely, though you may feel a little lost with the not-so-straightforward plot structure. It’s not until the second episode that everything falls into place and becomes plot-driven.

Weapons are kept to a minimum as much of the focus is on a game of calculating minds. There are plenty of twists and turns with a dash of film noir.

Hiddleston delivers a brilliant performance quite different to his more famous Loki, while Laurie radiates a chilling presence as a villain with charisma and money, and clever in hiding his true face. Both their characters give off long ago glamour and embody luxury untouched by the world around them. As the series goes on, we begin to see this peel away to reveal the dark side of the human scale. Pine grows out of his hospitable and goody-two-shoes self, Roper becomes more irritable and dangerous.

Suspenseful and with a penchant for close-up shots that give a raw and confronting feel, The Night Manager keeps you guessing and you on the edge of your seat.

Review Score : FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Catch The Night Manager at 8:30pm Sundays on BBC First/Foxtel.

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