The Night Manager: Uncensored Edition (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
August 27, 2016 by Dennis Amith
“The Night Manager” is a magnificent series, wonderfully performed and no doubt one of the finest TV spy drama series ever made. “The Night Manager: Uncensored Edition” is highly recommended!
© 2016 Producciones Fontaleza AE. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: The Night Manager: Uncensored Edition
FILM RELEASE: 2016
DURATION: Episodes 1-6 (361 Minutes)
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:78:1), English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Subtitles: English, English SDH and French
COMPANY: BBC/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RATED: Not Rated
Release Date: September 13, 2016
Directed by Susanne Bier
Written by David Farr, John le Carre
Story by Michael Cody
Produced by Rob Bullock
Executive-Producer: Susanne Bier, Alexei Boltho, Simon Cornwell, Stephen Cornwell, David Farr, Stephen Garrett, Tom Hiddleston, William D. Johnson, Hugh Laurie, John le Carre
Co-Executive Producer: Sam Englebardt, Brian Flanagan, David S. Greathouse, Rhodri Thomas
Associate Producer: Jose Luis Escolar
Series Cinematography by Michael Snyman
Series Music by Victor Reyes
Edited by Ben Lester
Casting by Noureddine Aberdine, Jina Jay
Production Design by Tom Burton
Art Direction by Joe Howard, Rachid Quiat, Paul Spriggs, Lucienne Suren, Paul Toddington
Set Decoration: nora Dorian, Barbara Herman-Skelding, Daisy Popham
Costume Design by Signe Seijlund
Tom Hiddleston as Jonathan Pine
Hugh Laurie as Richard Onslow Roper
Elizabeth Debicki as Jed Marshall
Olivia Colman as Angela Burr
Hovik Keuchkerian as Tabby
Alistair Petrie as Sandy Langbourne
Michael Nardone as Frisky
Adeel Akhtar as Rob Singhal
The Night Manager, the thrilling miniseries based on John le Carré’s best-selling spy novel, follows hotel manager Jonathan Pine (Tom Hiddleston) in his quest to bring down international arms dealer Richard Roper (Hugh Laurie). After being recruited by a British intelligence officer to infiltrate Roper’s inner circle, Pine is thrust into a world of international intrigue – but in his quest to do the right thing, Pine must first become a criminal himself. Includes all six unrated episodes, as originally aired on the BBC.
In 1993, author John le Carre (“The Spy Who Came in from the Cold”, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”, “The Honourable School Boy”) wrote the espionage novel “The Night Manager”. His first post-Cold War novel about an undercover operation to bring down a major international arms dealer.
Fastforward to 2016 and le Carre’s popular novel has been adapted into a BBC/AMC British-American television miniseries. And now, the series will be released on Blu-ray courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
The series has received critical acclaim and “The Sun” would proclaim “The Night Manager” as “one of the greatest series of all time”.
“The Night Manager” is directed by Susanne Bier (“In a Better World”, “After the Wedding”, “Brothers”) and was written by John le Carre and David Farr (“Hanna”, “The Ones Below”, “Paani”).
“The Night Manager” stars Tom Hiddleston (“The Avengers”, “Thor”, “I Saw the Light”), Hugh Laurie (“House”, “Tomorrowland”, “Stuart Little”), Elizabeth Debicki (“The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”, “Everest”, “The Great Gatsby”), Olivia Coleman (“Locke”, “The Lobster”, “Hot Fuzz”), Hovik Keuchkerian (“Justi & Cia”, “Scorption in Love”, “Anna”), Alistair Petrie (“Rush”, “The Bank Job”, “Cloud Atlas”), Michael Nardone (“Child 44”, “Intruders”, “Dot the I”) and Aure Atika (“The Beat That My Heart Skipped”, “OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies”, “Mademoiselle Chambon”).
The series begins in 2011 with the introduction to Jonathan Pine (portrayed by Tom Hiddleston), a hotel night manager of the Nefertiti Hotel in Cairo, Egypt.
One day, one of the hotel residents, Sophie Alekan (portrayed by Aure Atika), the mistress of Freddie Hamid (his family owns most of Cairo), comes to him to photocopy confidential documents.
While preparing the documents, Jonathan discovers that the documents feature a list of weapons and warfare chemicals and correspondence between the Hamids companies and Ironlast Limited, owned by Richard Onslow Roper (portrayed by Hugh Laurie).
Sophie takes the original copy and tells Jonathan if something happens to her, he can give those documents to someone important. And immediately, Jonathan turns over the documents to the International Enforcement Agency in London, England.
Unfortunately, someone at the IEA lets the Hamid family know and she immediately is beaten. Fearing for her life, Jonathan tries to hide Sophie from harm and the two become very close with one another.
He hopes to have her flown to London for protection but when London can’t do anything to protect her, Sophia comes back to the Nerfititi Hotel.
Not long after, John receives a call and is warned by someone at the IEA that Sophie is in danger in the hotel. When John goes to check on her, she is dead. When the authorities come, he tries to tell the police to check on the Hamid family but the officer in charge pretends that he doesn’t know anything about the Hamid family and that the murder of Sophie was due to a burglary.
Fast forward four years later and John is now the night manager of the Meisters Hotel in Zermatt, Switzerland and we learn that IEA Officer Angela Burr (portrayed by Olivia Colman) wants to recruit Jonathan Pine to investigate Ironlast CEO Richard Roper.
And with his new orders, Jonathan under different identities must find a way to infiltrate Richard Roper’s circle and risk his own life in order to obtain any information to expose Roper and his illegal crimes.
“The Night Manager” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1 aspect ratio). This is a gorgeous TV mini-series, considering it was shot in different parts of the world, close ups feature wonderful detail, skin tones look natural and black levels are nice and deep. The series is also wonderfully shot, especially outdoor shots and overall picture quality is fantastic!
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“The Night Manager” is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio.
The soundtrack is primarily dialogue and music driven. Dialogue and music is crystal clear with surround channels taking advantage of crowds and overall ambiance. Especially with the occassional explosions and gunfire. The lossless audio is quite appropriate for this TV series.
Subtitles are in English, English SDH and French.
“The Night Manager” does not come with any special features.
“The Night Manager” comes with an UltraViolet Digital HD code.
There have been attempts to make John le Carre’s well-known 1993 novel, “The Night Manager” into a film but it never happened.
With an update to the storyline in order to make it to a series, a few liberties had to be done in order to modernize the story for today’s audiences.
The settings were changed, the character of Leonard was changed to Angela Burr and with the casting of Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie, not only was “The Night Manager” a critically-acclaimed hit but the series is what The Guardian would call “BBC’s glossiest, smartest, most indecently entertaining Sunday night drama in ages”.
With a budget of US $26 million, “The Night Manager” is a spy thriller about a former British soldier named Jonathan Pine who became a night manager for a hotel in Egypt and after an encounter between a woman who gives him private documents of a secret arms trade involving arms dealer Richard Roper, CEO of Ironlast.
When the woman is murdered, the guilt of her death sends Jonathan Pine dealing with those darker years as a night manager for a hotel in Switzerland. But when Angela Burr of the International Enforcement Agency in London, England secretly recruits Jonathan Pine to infiltrate Roper’s circle and try to get any information to the IEA.
But to infiltrate such a dangerous circle will not be easy for Jonathan Pine, nor will it be easy for Angela Burr as the corruption extends to government officials and other agencies.
And it becomes a race against time as Jonathan must do all that is necessary to stop any major arms deals and transfer of weapons to the other countries. But with Roper suspicious of Jonathan, will Jonathan Pine be able to pull everything off?
For a series of only six episodes, the writers have managed to create a wonderful spy thriller and it helps to have wonderful performances by Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie. But the more I think about this series, it’s cast did a wonderful job as Olivia Colman did a wonderful job as Angela Burr, head of the IEA that is looked at a as thorn in the side of the government agencies. Elizabeth Debicki also does a good job playing the prostitute turned wife of Roper, Jed Marshall.
But “The Night Manager” is a series that worked well because of its writing, its performances and anything longer than six episodes probably would have muddled the series. At times, we have been spoiled by series with filler storylines, utilization of characters for no apparent reason and for many American series, the purpose is to extend a series to meet the maximum episode quota.
Each episode is full of excitement as pacing was well-done. The series was well-executed and the timing of various tense moments throughout the series was really well-done. But not surprising considering that “The Night Manager” was able to incorporate so much but it was quite expensive at almost $4 million an episode.
From Jonathan infiltrating Roper’s circle and trying to uncover documents, to seeing if the intel that Jonathan gets to Angela pans out, the ongoing suspicion of characters wondering who is a traitor and who is not.
But everything building up to an explosive final episode and the potential for a possible continuation of the series. And there are questions if there will be a season 2.
While Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie alluded that the series is completed. With wonderful ratings and critical acclaim, it’s not surprising that BBC Television and John le Carre and his sons production company, The Ink Factory are in discussion of making a second season. Which would be interesting as it would be a first for le Carre to have an adaptation go beyond his completed work.
Personally, if Hiddleston and Laurie do not return, if they just wanted to bring the character of Angela Burr and crew back, hopefully they can create another series with a different name, unless they continue to find a character who works as a hotel night manager. But that would be the silliness that a second series probably would want to avoid.
As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality and lossless audio is well-done. There are no special features included with this release and that is probably the only thing of this Blu-ray release which comes short of perfection.
Overall, “The Night Manager” is a magnificent series, wonderfully performed and no doubt one of the finest TV spy drama series ever made.
“The Night Manager: Uncensored Edition” is highly recommended!
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