The Night Manager.
The Night Manager rises to the top of Hotstar’s list of Hindi-language remakes thanks to an undoubtedly compelling plot along with strong performances. But, praise like this must be seen with a grain of salt when a streamer’s slate itself resembles a heap of previous season’s clothing at the back of your neighbourhood Zara.
Shaan Sengupta, played by Aditya Roy Kapur, is a former Naval officer who looks to have gotten a job in the hospitality sector as a night manager at five-star hotels when we first encounter him. Shaan is hired a few years thereafter to spy on the person whose evil plans allegedly led to the girl’s death after seeing the killing of a young girl in Dhaka who he had the chance to save. Anil Kapoor, a national icon, portrays the legendary arms trader Shelly Rungta, a “merchant of death,” with scenery-chewing panache.
The Srikant Tiwari-like Lipika Saikia, played by series star Tillotama Shome, orchestrates an operation that ultimately isolates Shaan as well as Shelly on an island in Sri Lanka after a few chance contacts in the first two episodes.
Shaan will infiltrate Shelly’s inner circle now that he is completely undercover and collect proof that will ultimately bring him down.
Aditya Roy Kapur is remarkably powerful in the major part. He appears like an ex-soldier, which makes him completely plausible as such, but you might be pleasantly surprised by the sensitivity he shows in his scenes with Taha and the tragic young girl in episode one. The concept that Shaan genuinely cares for Taha in the midst of a world filled with utterly unreliable people adds complexity to the drama and humanises the character. In the sexually explicit moments with Sobhita Dhulipala, who is underutilised in a thankless role as Shelly’s physical arm candy, Roy Kapur is also compelled to play closer to type.
Although Saswata Chatterjee seems to be enjoying herself in the Tom Hollander role as Shelly’s close man, there was a chance for the remake to diverge from the original. It is objectively problematic that the character is portrayed as a permanently predatory gay man, specifically when this is the sole quality that the character has. He replies, “I enjoy spooning,” after Shaan calls him a “chamcha.” Although Brij is his real name, he goes by BJ. Ha ha.
Every time Shome appears as Shaan’s morally dedicated RAW handler, she brings a valuable touch of laughter to the occasionally grim proceedings. She has personal reasons rather than ideological ones, like every single character on the show.