Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

The Night Manager

The characterisation and politics have been rudimentary and the plot challenged belief, but- after a slow start- it got to be terribly exciting. The BBC has been whingeing about having only millions to pit against Netflix's billions, but it didn't stint the budget here- and part of the thrill was knowing we were going to get real North African desert and not be fobbed off with a quarry in Buckinghamshire and that the explosions- when they came- would be big and orange.  The acting was expensive too- with Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie, Olivia Colman, David Harewood, Tom Hollander and an extended cast of familiar names and faces- all delivering their money's worth.

Oh, and the opening credits were wonderful.

Liberties were taken with Le Carre's original. Times and places and genders got changed and the ending was almost entirely new. And why not? The Night Manager isn't a classic text. Le Carre gave the film-makers his imprimatur by appearing very briefly as a spluttering blimp in a restaurant scene.

Matthew d'Ancona in the Guardian thinks the show has a lot to say about Britain's place in the world today and then tortures it into an allegory of the brexit referendum- with Roper as an opponent of the EU and Boyd as its champion. Nice try, Matthew, but I think you're up a gum tree there. What it does show is how Britain- for all its post-imperial loss of status- is still unable to keep its sticky fingers out of other people's business. 
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