The Night Manager Part 2
The weekend is finally here and so are the new releases that have arrived with a bit of a splash like the Mumbai monsoons. With that, I finished watching the new Hindi series, the Part 2 of the first season of The Night Manager which is now streaming on Hotstar. If you have been following my reviews then you would have read about my never-ending rant in my review of its Part 1.
An official adaptation of the original series by the same name, Hotstar happened to release the Hindi adaptation of The Night Manager in 2 parts spread over 4 months. That for me was the most ridiculous creative decision, and I still stick by my words. What that did was sabotage a potentially marquee show on the OTT in a very big manner. I would still have excused the decision if Part 2 was out earlier(within days or weeks of Part 1). As a result, the buzz around the show isn’t as high as it ought to have been which is rather unfortunate! Any which way, I decided to watch and review Part 2 of The Night Manager, keeping in mind that I have no reference of the original source material. So then does Part 2 of The Night Manager manage to impress, lets find out!
Story & Screenplay
An official adaptation of the original show by the same name, Part 2 of The Night Manager picks up from the same point where Part 1 had ended with the protagonist tightening his presence amongst a wanted arms dealer. Will he be able to stop him? The story here might not be too novel but it is cerebral and compelling in so many ways. The subtle mind games that are on between characters does make for an enthralling watch. The screenplay(of Part 2) comprising of 3 episodes of roughly 1 hour each has a little more urgency as compared to Part 1 which was a slow and steady buildup for the action to follow.
The drama jumps straight into the action(given how things are already setup) with the protagonist making his way tactfully in the gang of the antagonist who is an arms dealer. There are seeds of mistrust initially but the actions of the protagonist are enough to see him hold a very important position. Some of the subplots involving the Indian officials tracking the movement of the antagonist is pretty compelling as well. Elsewhere, a budding attraction is also shown to be blooming. All of these events are well controlled in a drama which unfolds at a leisurely pace. The pacing here serves two purposes – it helps you catch up with the previously setup drama in terms of the character dynamics, and secondly it adds texture and layer to the drama.
The proceedings are engaging and engrossing and make for a rather exciting watch. The subtle twists and turns in the screenplay make you curious on the next steps of the antagonist. At a point, you are also fearful of the fact that he may have switched sides which does add a whole new dimension to the drama. But there is a sense of purpose to the drama which is flavourful and wonderfully restrained in many ways. I did like how the writing did maneuver itself to the same location wherein the drama had started. After a couple of detours, this was indeed an interesting move.
The final act is enthralling for more than one reason as the writers do well in getting all the characters under one roof. That does ensure for fireworks, literally and figuratively, with respect to the setup. And because the characters are well established as well, you are emotionally invested in their journey. Just imagine, had Hotstar released all episodes in a single go, what the impact of the series would have had on you! I still did feel that the finale was a touch underwhelming considering that there could have been a couple more twists and turns including a little face-off, but overall the screenplay here is well written and adds the much needed urgency in the proceedings from Part 1.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are conversational and well intended which makes for a good watch. It was interesting to immerse yourself in the mind games that transpire through the lines! The music and BGM elevate the drama rather well here. The cinematography and art design are top notch and add well to the overall aesthetics of the show. The editing is pretty good too. The director’s chair is shared by Sandeep Modi and Priyanka Ghose and the direction is really good here. Their ability to add flavour and texture to the proceedings by creating moments of intrigue in the screenplay was commendable.
The performances are pretty good here. Resh Lamba as Rehman is excellent in an incredible job done. Arista Mehta has her moments to shine as Safina in the last episode. Prashant Narayanan(terrific as always), Jagdish Rajpurohit as Nasser and Joy Sengupta as Danish Khan are fabulous actors and both manage to leave a mark. Ravi Behl as Jayu was a pleasure to watch in a wonderful little performance. Saswata Chatterjee is such a fine actor and he is brilliant as BJ. Tillotama Shome as Lipika is on a roll and I am the happiest for her. Filling shoes of Olivia Colman can never be easy(who essays the role in the original). Now I haven’t watched the original but still can be sure of a brilliact act. But Tillotama here just manages to slip into her role so wonderfully well that Olivia would be proud of this act! Her mannerisms will put a smile on your face in a performance which is phenomenal here.
Sobhita Dhulipala as Kaveri looks pretty and does a good job. Aditya Roy Kapur as Shaan looks like a million bucks and impresses here with the ease in his performance. These are the kind of restrained characters that would suit Aditya and a case of him to opt for them a little more. Anil Kapoor as Shelly(who hasn’t aged a bit) is wonderfully restrained and quite intimidating here. He knocks it out of the park with his silent aggression that erupts every now and then. It was a towering act by a brilliant performer.
The part 2 of the first season of The Night Manager is a slick and compelling thriller with great performances that makes for a wonderful watch. Available on Hotstar.