The Night Manager Season 1: A Thrilling Espionage Drama That Leaves You Wanting For More

Anil Kapoor & Aditya Roy Kapoor at their best!

The Night Manager (Hindi)

  • Cast: Aditya Roy Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Tilottama Shone, Saswata Chatterjee, and Sobhita Dhulipala
  • Directors: Priyanka Ghosh, Rukh Nabeel, and Sandeep Modi
  • Music: Sam CS
  • Episodes: 4
  • OTT platform: Disney+ Hotstar

Espionage dramas if executed well can make for an exciting watch whether it is a movie or a web show.

For those who are not aware, The Night Manager directed by Sandeep Modi, Priyanka Ghose, and Rukh Nabeel is an official adaption of the highly acclaimed English web series which also had the same title.

Since I haven’t seen the English one, this will be a standalone review.

The web series begins with a prisoner escaping from a police van amidst rugged and snowy terrain. From here, we move to the Oriental Pearl Hotel in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Violent protests, connected to the Rohingya migration, happen outside the hotel.

The audience is then introduced to the handsome night manager, Shaan Sengupta (Aditya Roy Kapoor). There is a mysterious aura about him beneath all his suaveness.

A series of tension-filled moments precede the introduction of Shaan. One of them is a tormented teenager who is trying to escape from the clutches of her husband — a criminal who is much older than her.

The girl seeks help from the night manager. Though Shaan tries his best not to get involved, he is nevertheless drawn in.

The criminal husband is an associate of a businessman, Shelly (Anil Kapoor). Shaan takes the help of Lipika Saikia Rao (Tilottama Shome) who works for Indian intelligence.

Despite his best efforts, he cannot save the teenager and this leaves him shattered. Years later, he gets an opportunity to redeem himself. But, this time, the risk is higher.

An engaging & gripping tale

The first season of The Night Manager primarily focuses on how Shaan manages to impress Shelly and gets access to his inner circle along with the events that follow.

The very opening scene of the web series leaves the viewers excited about what will happen next. You are immediately hooked onto the world of Shaan.

The track of a tormented teenager has been well integrated by the directors. As viewers, you want her to come out safe and are constantly rooting for Shaan to succeed.

Brownie points to directors

In a scene, Shaan witnesses the death of a person whom he promises to protect. A clear sense of helplessness is visible on his face. He just stands there in shock as grief slowly takes him over. The scene stands out for both its direction and acting.

The series becomes even better with the introduction of Tilottama Shome. She is a pregnant woman on the job. Thankfully, the directors don’t make her pregnancy the central point of discussion.

Her interactions with Aditya Roy Kapoor’s Shaan are easily one of the biggest highlights of the series. There are scenes of understated humour involving her that leaves the viewers in splits.

The makers also deserve credit for how they connect this fictional story to the unfortunate Rohingya genocide which, in turn, led to unrest in Bangladesh.

The forced migration of the Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar isn’t the central theme of the series but there is a certain sensitivity with which this aspect has been portrayed.

It brings a certain local connection that adds a different dimension to this Hindi adaption.

The interactions between Aditya Roy Kapoor and Anil Kapoor are peppered with some interesting moments. They make for a worthy antagonist-protagonist pair.

Noteworthy performances

There are a couple of things that could have been better though. One of them is the characterisation of Shobita Dhulipala. She comes across as more of an eye candy. Maybe more would be revealed about her in the second season.

Saswata Chatterjee as gay has an interesting character but some of the stereotypical behaviour could have been avoided. To his Saswata, he still makes his presence amply felt.

Aditya Roy Kapoor as Shaan makes for a charming Night Manager who is battling with his inner demons. His persona works well in building up the character. He is particularly good at showcasing the vulnerability of Shaan.

Anil Kapoor as Shelly continues his golden form. The character is not shown as an all-out evil person, which adds more intrigue to the subsequent second season.

The senior actor has been ageing like fine wine. This is one more feather in the cap of this immensely talented veteran.

Tilottama Shome displays her brilliance, once again. She nails both the intense and quirky bits.


On the whole, The Night Manager is absolutely binge-worthy.

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