The Night Manager, a new Indian series on Disney+Hotstar, is a remake of the popular British miniseries based on John le Carre’s book. While remakes usually struggle to live up to the original, this show manages to impress with its own unique style and solid performances from the lead cast.
The series follows Shaan Sengupta (played by Aditya Roy Kapur), a former Navy man who now works as the Night Manager of a five-star hotel in Dhaka. His life takes a dramatic turn when he witnesses the murder of a teenage girl who had sought his help to flee to India. The incident shakes him to the core, and he goes underground, only to resurface two years later when he is approached by Intelligence officer Lipika Saikia Rao (played by Tillotama Shome) to spy on businessman Shelly Rungta (played by Anil Kapoor), an arms dealer who is responsible for the murder.
The show successfully incorporates the local political unrest into the narrative, referencing the Rohingyas, the Dhaka protest, and the political relations between India, Sri Lanka, and Uzbekistan. The writing is impressive, with Shridhar Raghavan and Sandeep Modi bringing out the human story at the core of the series. Shaan is a man seeking redemption for his past, and his actions as a spy for RAW put his life in danger.
Aditya Roy Kapur delivers a solid performance, portraying Shaan as a man who is tough on the outside but struggles with his inner turmoil. Anil Kapoor shines in his role as the cool, calculated and sharp Rungta, who only lets Shaan in after he saves his son in a staged kidnapping incident. However, the real star of the show is Tillotama Shome, who brings charisma to her portrayal of the sharp and almost mundane RAW officer Lipika Saikia.
Sobhita Dhulipala, who impressed audiences with her strong performance in Made in Heaven, feels underutilized in this series. Saswata Chatterjee, who plays BJ, Rungta’s oldest aide and an openly gay man, adds a fun element to the show and is a delight to watch.
One of the only drawbacks of the series is its division into two parts. With only four episodes out, the break feels abrupt and may not be the best move, especially since the original series is still available online.
Overall, The Night Manager is a credible show with good writing and great performances. The Indian version stays true to the original and yet finds its own voice, making it a must-watch for fans of the original and new viewers alike. The Night Manager is now streaming on Disney+Hotstar.
The original English 2016 series “The Night Manager” can be viewed on Amazon Prime Video, boasting an IMDb rating of 8.0. The show follows British soldier Tom as he is recruited by the manager of the United Kingdom department to investigate arms dealer Hugh Laurie’s criminal activities. The series was directed by Susanne Bier and written by David Farr, premiering in 2016 and receiving numerous accolades, including Emmy and Golden Globe Awards. This drama espionage thriller consists of 6 episodes with a runtime of 58 minutes. With an IMDb rating of 8.0 out of 10, “The Night Manager” is a must-watch for fans of the genre.
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