Genre: American Crime Drama miniseries
No. of seasons: 1
No. of episodes: 8
IMDB rating: 8.6/10
‘The Night Of’ is an American crime drama miniseries directed by Steven Zaillian and James Marsh based on a 2008 British series names Criminal Justice. The series is based in real time New York and deals with life of naive Pakistani-American college student Nasir Khan. Trying to fit in the American dream, Nasir aka Naz finds himself in trouble as he is the sole suspect in a murder case. The night of the murder brings drastic changes to his and his family’s personal, social and financial lives. This eight-part miniseries focuses on multiple characters corroborating Naz’s prison journey. The mystery of the murder keeps you on your tows along with very small aspects of each character’s personality.
Nazir Khan is a naive boy next door. One day he sneaks out of his house to attend a college party in his father’s cab (which he owns with multiple other owners). On the way, a young woman hops into his cab and they start talking. Nazir, being naive skips going to the party he intended to and goes to the girl’s house where they engage in drinking, drugs and sex. He wakes up in the middle of the night realizing that the girl he just had sex with, is dead and makes a run for his life. But the night is not in his favor. Soon the naive boy is behind bars for the crime he did not commit (?). Many witnesses and CCTV footage from tunnel security make his release a complicated affair. But here John Stone comes to his rescue. John Stone is a petty lawyer who makes money handling small clients. Watching helpless Naz in jail, John thinks he has got the big ticket and pursues Naz to hire him as his lawyer. Initially working just to get a big fat cheque, eventually he gets seriously involved into Naz’s case and work towards setting him free.
As Naz is a Pakistani-American, he faces even more hurdles throughout his legal fight and jail time. The jail changes Naz from inside out. That one night has even worst affect on Naz’s family. They are almost run into bankruptcy, his brother is bitten up at school for being associated with a murdered, his father looses the taxi and you can feel the post-9/11 Islamophobia till the end. The series touches on a very different religious and ethnic discrimination which very few shows have touched upon till date.
Riz Ahmed as Naz gives a hypnotic performance. He leaves his viewers mesmerized with his journey from doe-eyes to doped eyes. John Turturro’s John Stone is equally praise worthy. His affection with the cat (to whom he is allergic to), his skin rashes, his hunger for money and fame, his quirkiness and yet caring nature towards Naz leaves us with mixed emotions. Sofia Black-D’Elia plays the victim Andrea Cornish and shares the screen space with Naz for just 30 minutes but surely leaves a long lasting impact. The other cast includes Payman Maadi as Naz’s helpless father, Poorna Jagannathan as his always supportive mother and Amara Karan as Naz’s lawyer who falls for her client.
The ensemble cast and the efforts put in by the crew makes this miniseries a must watch. The Night Of gives you characters and plot never seen before. The easy camera movement with occasional zoom in-zoom outs and focus play with tinted frames give the series a sassy look. The Night Of is surely binge worthy and will keep you hooked up.