If you have wondered how and why did Tom Hiddleston’s name came into reckoning as the new James Bond you do not need to look for more reasons to watch The Night Manager, which I came across on Amazon Prime a tad late. You knew Tom Hiddleston as Loki in the MCU and yes, that didn’t necessarily qualify him as a contender to the Bond mantle by any stretch of imagination. Though he has supposedly lost out, his role and performance in this BBC original to an extent justifies the proposal and I can see now why he was in the news as a wannabe Bond but then John Le Carre’s operatives are diametrically oppostie to Ian Fleming’s and is not exactly a stepping stone to the Bond franchise. Joining Hiddleston is Hugh Laurie, in a role that’s basically Goldfinger sans the theatrics.
Le Carre’s spies almost have desk jobs unlike the gun gadget and girl swapping Bonds we have come to love over the years on the screen. They are conflicted, torn individuals who are affected by the ways of lies and deciet they have chosen or been sent down in life. Guns or fist fights are rarely a solution to their problems. They are no different from moths caught in a spider’s web. In The Night Manager, BBC has rebooted an eponymous Le Carre novel giving it a contemporary backdrop against conflicts more recent and ongoing in and around the region where the story unfolds initially. The series looks at the business of war and drives home the fact that greed drives people like no other desire in this world. Lives are collateral damage and death is the actual produce being exchanged here. Governments are ultimately nothing but ordinary people with extraordinary powers and the intentions of a governement are only as good as the principles that drive the individuals or the lack of it.From corrupt bureaucrats to idealistic intelligence officials, Night Manager has them all. The hero if I may call him that is not led by ideals but a thirst for revenge, is how i read the character.
The Night Manager is fast paced and makes for excellent binge watching on a lazy weekend.The proceedings on screen are quick and not much time is wasted between deaths,betrayals and bondings, pun unintended.For a show that scorched ahead from episode to episode the ending I must admist came across as a bit of a low key affair but I guess that’s how the”bad guys” go down in the real world, if they do at all that is.Olivia Colman who has made a career of playing the working class crimefighting mom plays a very pregnant intelligence officer and is a delight as always.Tom Hollander successfully irritates the hell out of Hiddleston and the viewer in a man Friday role to Laurie’s Roper. Elizabeth Debicki proves that she is not just a very pretty face. If you are looking for some fast thrills and international intrigue, The Night Manager is a perfect watch.Everything about The Night Manager is as British as it gets but the series doesn’t take sides or point fingers in the name of ethnicity or skin color and maybe the makers of a terribly biased and superficial series like Jack Ryan which debuted on Prime recently could take a leaf of out of this Le Caree book adaptation, so to speak.