Monday, August 29, 2016

The Night Of

After his ride bails, a college student (Riz Ahmed) borrows his immigrant father’s taxi without consent and drives into the city to attend a weekend blowout but instead winds up with an alluring fare, a system full of booze and pills, and a murder one charge for which he is caught ostensibly red handed. Hurled into the protracted workings of the justice system and the lion’s den at Riker’s Island, he pins his hopes on a neurotic, eczema stricken pettifogger (John Turturro) and a powerful celebrity inmate (Michael Kenneth Williams) who has taken a suspicious interest in him. Drawing on the BBC series Criminal Justice as a model, Steven Zaillain and Richard Price craft a seemingly knowing, intelligible, and even subtly humorous miniseries that burns with a starkly quiet intensity that is often agonizing to watch,while almost managing to successfully fuse a satisfying mystery narrative into its sociorealistic agenda. Turturro and Ahmed are fantastic.

**** out of ****