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The Courtauldian

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The Courtauld Institute of Art

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On 'The Night Manager'

My housemate and I watched the The Night Manager together and had wildly different reactions to it. Here are two responses to BBC’s tribute to Tom Hiddleston’s face, or you know, the eagerly anticipated and watched adaptation of John le Carre’s The Night Manger:

 

The Night Manager was a blur. Hazy shots of Mallorca intermixed with close ups of Tom Hiddleston’s face. 

 

I started watching the series for Tom Hiddleston and frankly, only stayed for Angela Burr (Olivia Coleman), and her spy best friend from America, Joel Steadman (David Harewood). And Jed’s (Elizabeth Debecki) dresses - those beautiful, pastel fabrics that just floated around ethereally in both the Spanish sun and grittier, camp outposts she finally got to visit. Very Great Gatsby-esqe. And the cinematography. The sets and spaces featuring the episodes were beautiful and all colour coded to match Tom Hiddleston’s blue shirts, a detail that my housemate and I noticed instead of following the plot. The actual spy bits were great - with Jonathan going undercover, Angela being super badass and the whole snooping-about-the-rich-man’s-mansion stuff, but the romance between Jed and Jonathan really brought down the series. When did they even fall in love? I genuinely missed that. Oh and Hugh Laurie was great. What a fantastic villain. Nice to see him in something that isn’t House. 

 

- Kirti Upadhyaya

 

I can’t actually remember much about the story but Tom Hiddleston looked great in all those blue suits in the sun. That guy Corky was #bantz and Dr. House should play bad guys more often tbh. Olivia Colman is my God, and I want a whole spin-off series about heavily pregnant women kicking down doors and wielding guns at bad guys. Did she kick down a door? Or was she on the other side of the door? I can’t remember, I think Tom Hiddleston was getting beat up at this point. I can’t remember the other girl’s name right now. Jed? I’m not entirely sure if she was a character or simply an aesthetic choice. She had a son who was mentioned once I think in reference to a photograph, I think that was supposed to give her depth because the only valuable women in this drama have been killed off after sex to fuel Manpain™ or are mothers. Mothers who sleep with bad guys to fund their estranged child’s education. Mothers who Tom Hiddleston sleeps with to steal the identity of their child’s estranged deadbeat father. Mothers who are manipulated into returning to their lying, cheating, border-line paedophilic husbands with the threat of never being able to see their children again and being told to spy on the only other woman and apparent friend in her circle. Mothers who seem to resent their imminent motherhood, and huff whenever her old friend/colleague brings it up while single-handedly taking down an international crime ring. We did get a touching scene where Olivia Colman looked emotionally at her future child’s nursery, before bad guys came to her house in the middle of the night and threatened her, and then a few episodes  later they came and beat up her husband for Dramatics. This was to reinforce the fact that Olivia Colman, as a Woman, is only concerned about stopping Dr. House to #SaveTheChildren  and to create a brave new world in which to raise her child in a loving suburban environment. I’ve forgotten what I was talking about. Tom Hiddleston was a spy in the sun. That was basically it, right? I’d watch that. That was good. 

- Sophie Newton

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