The Night Manager is based on John le Carre's novel, ex-British soldier Jonathan Pine (Tom Hiddleston) is recruited by MI-6's Angela Burr (Olivia Colman) to infiltrate the inner circle of an arms trader named Richard Onslow Roper (Hugh Laurie).
Roper welcomes Pine into his inner circle, leaving Corky out in the cold. Meanwhile, Burr has concerns for the safety of her source when she suspects key information has been leaked to the River House.
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I am a fan of Hiddleston and Laurie, and somewhat of LeCarre. I read the novel The Night Manager and consider it to be one of LeCarre's better novels (Tinker Taylor was hard for me to plow through). This adaptation was done very well. While the novel was written in 1993, this movie has been modernized. Extraneous characters (easy to use in a novel) have been combined - and it works well. I also like some of the changes with the character of Roper's son... He is acting more age appropriate here than in the novel. Hugh Laurie is providing a masterful performance. I'm also blown away by Tom Hiddleston. As much as I am a fan, I didn't think he had it in him to play a truly ruthless character - he does and he does it very well. Excellent cinamatography, beautiful scenery, good plot, and excellent acting. If you like spy/action then you will LOVE this film - as long as you understand it is an English film, which means the drama builds a little more slowly than typical American films and relies more on plot and characters than it does on explosions. There is a lot of violence and some sex scenes, so wouldn't reccommend for younger viewers.
John Le Carre is my 2nd favorite author, unluckily behind Thomas Pynchon, who is the greatest. But I love all his work, especially The Perfect Spy and Absolute Friends. Bob Dylan sings "It's a Political World," and Le Carre knows the "political world" as it is, like no one else.
This production of "The Night Manager" is amazingly true to Le Carre's book and whole world view. It catches absolutely (two episodes so far) the fantastic espionage identity trap/sacrifice of Jonathan Pine, and the global atrocity of weaponry marketing.
The acting is of the highest level. The cinematography and music is A-class. There's no silly off-side narratives that distract from the main story. There's no appealing to mainstream TV cliches or histrionics. It's just good, solid GOOD.
This series is the smartest TV drama since Borgen, and in addition to being total eye candy, with beautiful cast and clothes and international backdrops, it has a riveting plot involving arms traffic, well-written dialogue, and interesting male and female lead characters. Never a dull moment.
This is series television at its pinnacle of perfection. The tension is relentless. The story is so totally credible in this day and age it's frightening beyond imagination. The characters are fantastically well drawn, and the acting utterly sublime. But it's the taught guitar string of a plot stretched to near breaking point as the antagonist and amoral arms dealer, played by Hugh Laurie, keeps turning the tuning knob ever tighter. Tom Hiddleston's night manager is exquisitely flawed and yet turns out to have a talent for the spy game. He walks on the proverbial knife's edge in every episode. But my favorite supporting characters are the British spy handler, Angela Burr (played by Oliva Coleman) and Laurie's best pal and security SOB "Corky" played by Tom Hollander. They both deserve Emmy Awards. I binge watched the first six episodes and it was the best investment of time watching television I've ever made.
Reviewed in the United States on December 29, 2016
I will preface this by saying I have not read the source material that this show is derived from. I thoroughly enjoyed this show. It was one of those shows that each episode made me want more. I looked forward to seeing the final resolution. When that moment came, it was far from what I had expected. Hugh Laurie was great as the antagonist. He was one of those villains that has moments that make one forget that they are the villain (then they do something heinous to remind the audience). Tom Hiddleston does an amazing job. He seems almost reluctant to get into the game, then he gets so into his cover that one thinks he may actually cross over from covor to villain himself. Overall the plot of this is great. It is in the same vein as James Bond, but in my opinion it is better because the protagonist is not some super spy, he is an ordinary man pushed into extraordinary circumstances. While I am on the subject, I would say that Hiddleston could easily slip into the role of Bond should Daniel Craig truly decide to not return. The action sometimes is slow to develop, but that is a result of plot development. When the action happens, it serves to move the plot as opposed to being superfluous. Watching it on Amazon, it was not "edited for TV" meaning that there are some graphic scenes, actual human language, and nudity definitely not a kid friendly show.
This is simply enjoyable escapist entertainment. The production and cast are very good, as is the story. I'm sure some will consider it boring and slow since it is NOT continuous car chases, bomb blasts, acrobatics and steamy sex scenes. But it is a fairly intelligent presentation that requires a little attention on the part of the viewer. I haven't read le Carre in years but the plot seems to follow what I recall to be his standard framework of political and bureaucratic intrigue that envelopes the lives of everyday people. You could waste a few hours on mindless reality shows, insulting comedy programs and endless reruns or you could put a little effort into watching a well done drama/thriller like "The Night Manager".
Reviewed in the United States on December 20, 2016
Taught suspense laced with a formidable villain and graced by a charming hero. Beautiful settings. Each episode akin to a mini-movie that pushes you into a longing desire for the next feature. Wryly written with an gentle hand toward the twist. Almost crosses paths with Homeland in style but stays just above the gritty places Homeland sometimes forces upon you. Enjoyable. Suspenseful. Intriguing. Beguiling. Leaves me pining for more (couldn't resist).
Splendid acting, gorgeous cinematography, and a twisting and intricate plot, full of surprises- what's not to like? This series is utterly enthralling. My only regret is that i can't see how Hugh Laurie's character can survive into a second season, but then, if Moriarty is still alive and kicking after over a hundred years, perhaps this bad apple will prove similarly immortal. I was especially impressed by and fond of the many interesting locales in which episodes were filmed; even offices in London looked more realistic, and a bit grubbier, than i've ever seen them.
5.0 out of 5 starsexcellent mini-series thriller; Hugh Laurie is a great "bad guy"
Reviewed in Canada on March 30, 2019
i thoroughly enjoyed this mini-series. Hugh Laurie plays a great "bad guy", with enough malevolence, without being a cardboard cutout 2-dinensional character. The series was just right: long enough to develop characters and their relationships, and delve into more complicated plot twists. We see the Middle East portrayed yet again as a "hot spot" with warring factions, and opportunistic scoundrels. Very good production values: more like big box office movies, and less like cheaper TV episodes of years past.
Un veterano de la armada de Inglaterra es un recepcionista en hoteles de gran nivel; en El Cairo recibe a una intrigante dama de compañia de un junior de la familia más influyente de Egipto; ella le entrega documentos para custodia que son pruebas de tráfico de armas, pero él los reporta por su cuenta a un amigo en la embajada inglesa y desencadena una serie de movimientos en el espionaje y contraespionaje en Londres; la trama involucra elementos de la realidad actual y los múltiples intereses alrededor de una guerra típica de la actualidad; la guerra en Siria y la venta de armamento por el sólo negocio de la venta de armamento. Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie y Tom Hollander son los protagonistas, el paquete incluye 2 discos y 6 capítulos.
5.0 out of 5 starsExcellent series! Gripping and thrilling and entertaining --- excellent ...
Reviewed in Canada on January 3, 2017
Excellent series! Gripping and thrilling and entertaining --- excellent production values, and the casting is extraordinary! On the edge of my seat I LOVED it! This is one of those series you'll be watching over again, and telling your friends to watch it!
We plan to watch the final episode tonight! We've been reluctant to do so, not because the show is bad, but rather because once we've seen it, there's no more to watch. Any other program would have to be a let down. Best suggestion is not to watch The Night Manager at all, because once you've seen it, nothing else can ever compare favourably!
Absolutely gripping. I loved every minute and could barely make it through the last episode it was so tense. If you liked the "honourable woman" you will love this, if you like this, you will love the "Honourable Woman"!!!