The Night Of (DVD)

The Night Of (DVD)
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The Night Of (DVD)

From creators Steven Zaillian and Richard Price, The Night Of is an eight-part limited series that delves into the intricate story of a fictitious murder case in New York City.

The series follows the police investigation and legal proceedings, all the while examining the criminal justice system and the purgatory of Rikers Island, where the accused awaits his trial.


Nasir Khan is an economics student of Iranian heritage who has been caught up in a murder mystery, of which he is the prime suspect, at a thankless time for Muslims in New York City. Arrested for a crime he doesn’t remember committing, Nasir is sent to prison to await trial. Meanwhile, his parents search for him, encountering all manner of prejudice and bureaucratic hoop-jumping, from apathetic police officers to opportunistic lawyers.

Creator Richard Price (of Ransom, The Wire, and Clockers) writes a lot about the flawed legal systems, racial tensions and classism in the urban US and, with frequent Scorsese collaborator Steven Zallain, fills the eight-episode series with informed social commentary. Riz Ahmed is great as the traumatised Nasir, whose trauma is the great mystery of the show. Peyman Moaadi – star of recent Oscar favourite, A Separation – features as Nasir’s father, and along with John Turturro, the always impressive character actor of The Big Lebowski and Fading Gigolo, Moaadi brings prestige to what is otherwise a cast of relative unknowns.

For those who were a little disenchanted with the True Detective: Season Two, here you have a worthy substitute. The Night of combines the atmospheric tensions of True Detective with the documentary-like realism of The Wire and adds one of the best features of The Sopranos: several interesting character arcs that overlap episodes. It is also a pleasure for those who miss their weekly episodes of The Good Wife, and with them the observation of the art and scrutiny of a good case for the defence and the lottery of a trial by jury. Photographed in a proto-Fincher frame, with distance and emptiness its chief furnishing, this super-gritty crime drama is some of the best TV of 2016 and is unafraid of addressing the socio-economic issues pushing and pulling the scales of justice in the post-9/11 West.

Jemima Bucknell is our Online Fulfilment Manager.

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