peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2016 10 08 TheNightOf

The Night Of

/noise/movies | Link

For Riz Ahmed, and John Turturro, and I guess Bill Camp too. A long well-produced but underwritten HBO miniseries mining a familiar vein: did he or didn't he violently murder a girl he just met? The scriptwriters try to reduce that to who-cares, and what they serve up instead is perhaps an advertisement for a second go around if it weren't for the sheer exhaustion of Turturro's bottom-feeding lawyer and corporate newbie Amara Karan. (I was a little surprised that her Hindi went over so well with a Pakistani family, but what do I know.) Glenne Headly is solid as the soulless crusader lawyer. I didn't really get into any of the jailbirds or the cops, apart from Camp's ruminative retiring detective. The characters kept me going but the early hope for the plot evaporated as diverse themes kept being pushed to the fore. I see James Gandolfini was involved in the production just before his passing; had he lived this may have been something even more open-ended and diffuse, like The Sopranos, rather than a mess that is implausibly semi-resolved.

What I really want is for Ahmed to do something that doesn't start with him being victimized. Ultimately it just fades away.