Blu-ray Review Crime

'The Night Manager: Uncensored Edition' Blu-ray Review: Cloak and dagger, with a dash of swagger

September 14, 2016Ben MK

When it comes to spy thrillers, most moviegoers ought to be familiar with the likes of Ian Fleming, Tom Clancy and Robert Ludlum, whose novels have been adapted into action-packed blockbusters starring James Bond, Jack Ryan and Jason Bourne. Prolific spy novelist John le Carré, however, specializes in much more cerebral fare; and though his name might not command the same sort of instant recognition among film audiences, you've probably already seen a film adaptation of one of his books and not even realized it.

The latest le Carré novel to receive the screen treatment is 1993's "The Night Manager," which tells the story of a hotel night manager named Jonathan Pine, who becomes swept up in a web of intrigue and espionage, when he's recruited by British Intelligence agent Angela Burr to infiltrate the organization of businessman, philanthropist and international arms dealer Richard Onslow Roper. Starring Tom Hiddleston as Pine, Hugh Laurie as Roper, and Olivia Colman as Burr, BBC's six-part The Night Manager miniseries follows Pine from Egypt to Switzerland, Spain and Istanbul, as he attempts to thwart Roper's weapons deals and bring him down for good.

Along the way, Pine finds himself getting dangerously close to Roper's mysterious girlfriend, Jed Marshall (Elizabeth Debicki), and drawing the suspicion of Roper's jealous right-hand man, Lance Corkoran (Tom Hollander). Meanwhile, Burr and her associate from Langley, Joel Steadman (David Harewood), find their under-the-radar operation coming under intense scrutiny from the higher-ups at MI6 and the CIA, as Burr uncovers evidence of corruption among the ranks of both organizations. His limits and his morals put to the ultimate test, Pine eventually finds himself back where he started, at the Nefertiti Hotel in Cairo, where his deceptive activities comes to a head.

A cloak-and-dagger character drama of the highest caliber, The Night Manager joins the ranks of other le Carré film adaptations, such as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, A Most Wanted Man and Our Kind of Traitor; and it will certainly please fans of those movies, thanks to its impeccable production design and the top-shelf performances of its cast. As for Sony's "Uncensored Edition," it contains all six episodes, as originally broadcast on the BBC:

  • Episode 1 - Hotel night manager Jonathan Pine receives a plea for help from a well-connected guest. His actions draw him into the world of Richard Roper, a businessman and arms dealer.
  • Episode 2 - On the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, Roper's life of luxury and calm is shattered. Six months earlier, Burr continues her recruitment of Pine, sending him to Devon to build his cover story.
  • Episode 3 - While he continues to recuperate in Roper's villa, Pine starts to dig up secrets about the other members of the household. Meanwhile, Burr and Steadman seize an opportunity to recruit a new asset.
  • Episode 4 - 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.
  • Episode 5 - A suspicious Roper gathers his entourage around him in an attempt to root out the traitor, forcing Pine to play a dangerous game. In London, Burr and Steadman face mounting opposition from Whitehall.
  • Episode 6 - Roper and his team return to Cairo for the deal, reuniting Pine with an old enemy. Pine risks it all to put his plan in motion. A discredited Burr makes one last stand.

The epitome of a virtually flawless technical presentation, The Night Manager debuts on Blu-ray boasting excellent clarity, hue reproduction and depth. Whether it's the pores on the actors' faces and the tailoring of their designer suits and dresses, the picturesque beauty of the icy Swiss Alps and the lush Spanish coastline, or the sun-scorched, desert palette of Cairo, this 1080p image is a marvel to behold. And it just gets better when you factor in the discs' DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix, which handles the series' primarily dialogue-driven proceedings with ease, supplementing them with the rare sounds of gunfire, explosions and body blows.

Sony's two-disc Blu-ray release includes an UltraViolet digital copy, but no Blu-ray extras.

The Night Manager: Uncensored Edition is available from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment as of August 30th, 2016. Episode synopses above provided courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The Blu-ray features an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, with English, English SDH and French subtitles. The total runtime is 6 Hrs. 1 Min.

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