We watched this off of the heels of another (albeit more oblique) homage to le Carré, The Ipcress File, and it's remarkable where this succeeds and where this fails in comparison. I do not think that neither Hiddleston nor Laurie did a terrific job in their respective roles, but they were servicable (and certainly the budget — which must have been astronomical for 2016 BBC standards — was put to good use).

But the sacrifices made to le Carré's original plot in order to make this a little bit more television-y are felt, especially in the final two episodes. Hiddleston's character acts in a way that is patently absurd, and Laurie's refusal to just kill him outright is equally daft. The necessity of the showrunners to tie everything up in a neat bow is... so very American, and feels like a betrayal of the source material.


Sometimes a show can be redeemed by a single scene, and here is what I will remember about The Night Manager: four minutes of Laurie gleefully detonating bombs and dispersing napalm, streaks of red and orange across a pitch black sky. Tremendously good cinema, beautiful and chilling in equal parts.


Lightning bolt
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