In this HBO exclusive limited series, we are introduced to Riz Ahmed playing the lead role of Nasir ‘Naz’ Khan. This young man is a student who just wants to go to a party with his buddy. He basically steals his Father’s cab which is co-owned with several partners. While on his way to the party, he is approached by a young woman who thinks he’s an active cab. Over the course of the night, things go from calm and curious, to drunk and dangerous, to unconscious and dead.
When I watched the first few episodes, it was bordering on terribly uncomfortable. I felt really terrible for this kid because I didn’t believe that he did anything, that he was set up. But yet he was making all of these really stupid decisions and I thought for sure that it wasn’t going to get good for him in any way, shape or form. Supporting are the living legend John Turturro as attorney Jack Stone. This eczema suffering, highly cat allergic, not terribly well respected New York attorney is fairly pivotal in the future of his client, Naz. He is on the case, then off the case, then partly on the case, then has to make the closing arguments. All the while, he fights to the limit of his ability to discover the truth.
Other break outs include Bill Camp as Sgt Box, a retiring cop who is a true hard-ass who second guesses the whole situation, but I think that since he’s retiring, he initially didn’t want to put in the leg work. There was enough evidence against Naz, so what’s the point. But then he starts to realize that maybe they did get the wrong guy but for whatever reason doesn’t really do anything to stop the trial. That part kept leaving me confused about his motivation; why investigate the possibility of the truth without stepping up and saying so. Paul Sparks plays Don Taylor, the step-father of the girl that Naz is accused of killing. I first saw him in House of Cards, he has a very mellow way about him while exuding a focused sense of intensity, fascinates me a little bit. The last breakout star for me was Amara Karan who played Chandra Kapoor, a rookie attorney who is assigned the case when a larger firm pushes out Jack Stone as Naz’s legal council.
|The Night Of (2016)|
|Rating: 8.9/10 (27,912 votes)
Stars: Riz Ahmed, Peyman Moaadi, John Turturro, Jeannie Berlin
Runtime: 60 min
Genre: Crime, Drama
Released: 24 Jun 2016
|Plot: After a night of partying with a female stranger, a man wakes up to find her stabbed to death and is charged with her murder.|
So I know that if you’ve read this far, you might be a little peeved as I may have dropped some spoilers above. I have to disagree, everything I’ve mentioned can be generally observed in the trailer, so calm down.
The reason I’m even writing about this is almost exclusively because of Riz Ahmed. I have never seen him before now and at first, I didn’t like his acting nor his character. He came across as this overly simple yet assumingly well educated young man who is fed up with racial profiling while truly being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is human and accordingly makes a handful of very poor, panic fueled decisions which ultimately lead to his arrest and prosecution for this murder. But, as the character grows and develops throughout the life of this limited series, it’s the evolution of the character that fascinated and interested me so much. He goes from this mild mannered college kid to this semi-hardened, tattooed, drug doing thug over the course of perhaps several weeks (the timeline is a little bit hard to follow). Watching the development of the character and how Riz portrayed it honestly made the entire thing well worth it.
It’s not often that I watch something and my attitude towards a main character ebbs and flows as much and as extremely as it did with The Night Of. If you have or get HBO, I highly suggest catching this on HBOGo, it was very good and I think you will greatly enjoy it.