Late Night (Nisha Ganatra, 2019) USA

Reviewed by Kaio Farkouh.

Directed by Nisha Ganatra, the Canadian director, which is known for her work directing tv shows, for example,  Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Transparent, Shameless, and the list goes on. “Late Night” premiered at the beginning of the year at the Sundance Film Festival, and after good reactions, the movie was bought by Amazon Studios and distributed. Around 2 years ago, when Amazon studios bought ‘The Big Sick” and it got a mid-year release, and by the end of the year got a nomination for best screenplay at the Oscars. So I believe they will try to do the same thing here because this is a good movie.

The movie tells the story about Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson), she is a host on the late-night-talk-show circuit. She has been doing it for years, and we can clearly see that she is very well known, however, she has been doing the same thing for years, which is when her manager tells her that due to low ratings, this will be her last season hosting the show. So she demands her writers, which is when we are introduced to the lovely Molly (Mindy Kaling), she is hired as the one woman in Katherine’s all-male writers’ room. And they have the mission to do a better show, in order to keep the show.

The greatest thing about the movie is the dynamic between the two main characters. Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling. I thought both of them have a great amount of screen time, meaning that they both lead the movie. Emma Thompson does a very good job of a woman who thinks it is too good, and she is always above the others. This makes me believe that is one of the reasons that her show is declining in ratings. By the time we are introduced to Mindy Kaling character, it gives us an amazing contrast of characters. If one of them is the white-privilege woman, the other is an Indian woman who worked out her entire life with passion. She is key to help the show keep going.

Mindy Kaling is credited by writing the movie, which is also known for writing some tv shows episodes like The Office, The Mindy Project. She does a great job in writing the screenplay which recognizes the problem of our generation and the shift in the industry of television. The movie talks about how to be relevant in a world, where people laugh and care about meaningless stuff and how to give importance to the things that matter the most, like diversity, socioeconomic problems, male dominance.

“Late Night” is predictable and by the end of the movie its messages get repetitive and I got what the movie was trying to tell me. However, the movie has very good punch lines, which I thought was very funny and it goes beyond the jokes. The movie talks about the problems of our society in very good ways.


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