‘The Night Manager’ Episode 1: Recap & Ending, Explained: Why Was It Important To Save Safina Rizwan?

“The Night Manager” is a remake of the hit British television show which has its own fanbase, and banking on that popularity, Sandeep Modi brings us the story of a night manager working at a resort who is hired to spy on the arms dealer Shailendra Rungta, who sells himself to the world as an industrialist and a philanthropist. Shan Sengupta has reasons to chase Shailendra, and the question is: will he be able to help the investigative agencies find any dirt on him that will finally incriminate him? Shan’s experience in Dhaka, Bangladesh, is an example of how R&AW came very close to nabbing the said criminal. But was there collateral damage that Shan had to pay for?

Safina Rizwan, the child bride of successful yet notorious businessman Freddie Rehman, is having a hard time adjusting to her new life in Bangladesh, away from her hometown of Aminadab in Uttar Pradesh. Safina was only 14 years old when she was married off to Freddie, and as per the Bangladesh laws, it was not illegal. Safina Rizwan is a smart young girl, but she knows she is trapped and is trying to find ways to get out of the situation. She is constantly harried by her mother to get used to the luxurious life in Bangladesh, but Safina wants the exact opposite. In comes Shan Sengupta, the manager at a 5-star hotel in Bangladesh, which is ravaged by civil unrest in their neighboring country, Myanmar. Myanmar is facing severe criticism from around the world and especially from Bangladesh for mistreating the Rohingya Muslims, who are flocking to Bangladesh fearing execution by the Myanmar government led by Aung San Suu Kyi. Managing to pass through the protesters in front of the hotel, Shan Sengupta reaches his place of work only to be faced with worried guests who want to leave Bangladesh as soon as possible.

Seeing Shan help every guest find a solution to their problem, Safina is drawn to this man’s problem-solving skills, and she wonders if this man could be the solution to her problems as well. Safina is constantly followed by her mother, and she finds it difficult to maneuver through and find a solution to her problem. But what is the issue that bothers her so much? Safina approaches Shan and asks if he can help her leave the country using his contacts. Being an obedient employee of the hotel, he redirects her toward the travel desk at the hotel to find a solution to her problem of leaving Bangladesh and reaching India safely. Safina is frustrated because Shan is unable to understand or empathize with the situation. He soon learns from his colleague that Safina is the child bride of Freddie Rehman, a rich local businessman, a criminal who owns the property that Shan works for. Shan is shocked to understand how normalized it is for a grown man to marry a girl who is not even 18 years old.

A playful Safina takes Shan’s phone, and he rather politely demands that she give it back to him. Shan is a witness to Freddie Rehman entering their lives and creating havoc. Shan, knowing he would ravage the young girl, now comes back with the phone with additional videos of herself talking about her life in Bangladesh as a child bride and a video of her husband dealing with arms and ammunition, supposedly with an unknown arms dealer, whose face is not recognizable but whose voice is. Shan immediately offers the video to his friend in the Indian high commission, who gives it to the South Asia desk’s R&AW officer, Lipika Rao. Lipika realizes the video provider should be rescued. Lipika forms a strong case against the said arms dealer, Shailendra Rungta, who is disguised as a shipping magnate and sells arms and ammunition to fuel war. Lipika has no sympathy for the man who facilitates deaths in several countries. Lipika has been building a case against him for years, and this is the first time they have come very close to nabbing him. Since she has formed a strong case, she believes they can now move ahead to catch him.

Fate had other plans when Shan noticed Freddie Rehman being livid at his wife for betraying him, and he immediately informed Safina to leave the hotel premises. Safina is rescued by Shan because he is understanding and empathetic to Safina’s cause and, as an extension, to Lipika’s operation. But he informs Lipika of a mole in her team because Freddie is hell-bent on hunting Safina down and killing her. This is the first time Lipika learns that Safina is the one who shared the video, and that she is a 14-year-old girl. She asks Shan to protect Safina, her asset, till the next day because Lipika is on her way to Dhaka from Delhi to help Safina exit the country. Shan feels hopeful and keeps her safe in the under-construction area of the hotel, where there is no CCTV coverage. Shan is again hopeful about the fact that Safina will be helped to leave the country.

Lipika, on her way to the airport, discovers her phone has been tapped, and their mission from here on has been compromised. Shan rushes to rescue Safina, but it is too late. He witnesses Safina falling off the top floor to her death. Shan is shattered, and there is nothing that will help him recover from this tragedy, knowing he was the one responsible for protecting her from a man like Freddie who was a sorry excuse for a husband willing to eliminate his wife on the demand of Shailendra Rungta. It was necessary to save Safina to help Lipika build a strong case not just against Freddie Rehman but also Shailendra; for so far, there is nothing that links Shailendra with arms dealing. Lipika knows Shailendra is someone who has a connection to the top brass, and the said mole has informed him of Safina’s ratting it out. Shailendra is a ruthless man who is willing to get rid of a 14-year-old girl without worrying about the consequences. Safina’s unfortunate death came as a rude shock to Shan because all he wanted to do was save an innocent 14-year-old girl trapped in a marriage, longing for her home. This is why saving Safina became the task of utmost relevance, which tragically ended badly for all of them, derailing their investigation against Shailendra Rungta yet again.

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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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