Movie news – THE NIGHT OF: one wonderful season down
The Night Of has just wrapped up its first season with an episode that was as skillful and satisfying as the first one. Riz Ahmed, the actor playing Naz, has done a wonderful job of portraying a troubled, yet timid kid who gets wrapped up in a difficult situation and finds little to no exterior factors to help him get out of it. Through the season, we, the audience, along with the other characters in the show, have no idea who or what to believe.
“The HBO miniseries “The Night Of” was never a particularly successful crime series, and perhaps it never set out to be. From the first episode—in which a college student from Queens named Naz (Riz Ahmed), having snuck out in his father’s cab, has a drug-fuelled night with a mysterious girl, wakes up to find her dead, and then is arrested for her murder and taken to Rikers Island—it was clear that the show was going to be not a detective story in the traditional sense but an intimate study of a young man caught in a dysfunctional criminal-justice system. In the course of its eight episodes, which followed Naz’s trial and the toll it takes on him, his parents, and his lawyers (John Turturro and Amara Karan), the show devoted only minimal energy to investigating other suspects and motives for the crime, and its storylines were sometimes uneven. In the finale, which aired on Sunday night (spoilers follow), the trial’s outcome hinged upon a mundane and unsatisfying technicality—a deadlocked jury—and on the personal ethics of a relatively minor character, the case’s prosecutor (Jeannie Berlin), who became convinced that Naz was innocent and declined to retry the case.” (The New Yorker)
The Night Of - After The Night Of
“One of the most memorable images of The Night Of, the now-concluded HBO miniseries that seemed only to ever deal in memorable images, was among its simplest. In Sunday’s finale, the lawyer John Stone (John Turturro) presented his client Nasir Khan (Riz Ahmed) with the difficult decision of whether to report his other lawyer, Chandra (Amara Karan), for kissing Naz. Doing so could result in a mistrial—which could be a good thing for Naz, but would ruin Chandra’s career.
Naz said almost nothing as he listened to Stone. But his eyes were steadily focused, glassy, reflecting the white light of a window across the room. “What do you care, you like her like you like Andrea?” Stone asked, referring to Chandra and the woman Naz is accused of killing. He told Naz to think about looking in the mirror, 20 years from now, regretting his choice today.
Naz didn’t move his head, just breathed deep, his chest slightly heaving. The reflection in his eyes looked like a glow from within. Stone understood. “Is that a yes?” It was.
The Night Of was a story about eyes: about first impressions that lead to stupid acts of generosity or monstrous acts of callousness, about surveillance as check on the imprecision of human sight and memory, about how people and systems trade an optimistic way of looking at the world for a jaded one over time. It signaled this theme by training the camera, time and again, on characters engaged in the simple act of seeing.” (The Atlantic)
“For the last two months, HBO’s The Night Of has proved to be the great head-scratcher of the summer, a series that provokes countless questions: Did Nasir “Naz” Khan (Riz Ahmed) brutally murder Andrea Cornish (Sofia Black-D’Elia) during an unexpected late-night rendezvous? Could cash-grabbing, in-over-his-head lawyer John Stone (John Turturro) be the right guy to mount Naz’s defense? And, after watching Stone dig away at his eczema-afflicted feet with a chopstick, will any of us ever be able to enjoy an egg roll again?” (Wired)
“The analogy between “The Night Of” and “In a Lonely Place” isn’t precise, but we leave Naz in a much different place than we found him. He has been transformed by this experience, and he has been revealed by this experience. We understand that he is capable of committing terrible acts, maybe even murder, despite the likelihood that he’s innocent of this specific murder. We know that prison affected him deeply, coarsening his soul and turning him into an addict, but we also know that he didn’t enter Rikers as the humble, frightened little lamb he appeared to be. It could be argued that the system turned Naz into a monster, like the low-level crook turned gangster in A Prophet, but it could also be argued that it sharpened violent tendencies that were already present, based on the behavior that got him expelled from his local high school and his side business as an amphetamine dealer.” (NYTimes)
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for season two.
Source: Ana Banu on tvmuse.com
Olusegun Sky Olusegun
Author: Olusegun, fondly referred to as Sky is a Nigerian, UK based Publisher, TV producer and Entrepreneur. Graduated from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Mass Communication class of 2007. Sky Loves movies, TV shows and enjoys reading and providing entertainment ideas for brand leveraging. He is the Producer of Unique TV Show: My Funky Birthday Show, the Publisher of MFB Publishing, Naija Online TV, Check Republic TV and many more websites.
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