The Night Clerk (2020) – Review

An extremely intelligent night clerk with Asperger syndrome is witness to a woman’s brutal murder during his work shift, Bart Bromley (Tye Sheridan) consequently becomes the number one suspect in the case, but unbeknown to the police, his habit of voyeurism means he’s captured the event in its entirety, thus proving his innocence. While growing close to another guest named Andrea Rivera (Ana de Armas), he must prevent her from being the next victim, while also unmasking the real killer. A surprisingly impressive movie that is currently streaming on Netflix.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Director: Michael Cristofer
Writers: Michael Cristofer
Starring: Tye Sheridan, Ana de Armas

Whenever new films appear on your Netflix feed, it’s always best to approach them with caution, and that’s exactly what I did here with The Night Clerk. A recent release with two young and relatively unknown actors taking center stage. What transpired however, was something unexpectedly fascinating and a movie with a tremendously unique story and some powerful underlying emotions thrown in there too.

For me, one of the primary strengths was the way in which the filmmakers successfully explored the subject of autism – more specifically, Asperger syndrome. It’s not something we see everyday in flicks of this nature but as a viewer, you were extremely sympathetic towards the lead characters condition, despite the fact that a large majority of his voyeuristic actions were morally dubious at best.

There were some minor issues however, the script wasn’t exactly top notch and seemed a little it too simplified in patches, coupled with the fact that quite a significant chunk of the film seemed to include many scenes that weren’t needed or ones that simply overstayed their welcome. There’s also a separate argument to suggest the filmmakers tried exploring too many genres within the ninety minute runtime – The Night Clerk had the characteristics of a drama, thriller, crime, mystery, romance and there were even elements of a comedy thrown in too. With that being said, the opening act and rather noteworthy ending, more than made up for a general lack of substance in certain parts.

In terms of the acting, as previously mentioned, the two leads were pretty unknown but pulled off two fantastic performances, respectively. Tye Sheridan portrayed Bart, the vulnerable, socially awkward young man still living at home in his mother’s basement, while Ana de Armas adopted the role of Andrea, the woman responsible for sparking the love interest between the pair. Both stood out among the rest, but particularly Tye Sheridan, who’s portrayal of the autistic, heartbroken, twenty-something year old is something we can hopefully all appreciate.

For sure, it wasn’t high budget, nor was it a cinematic masterpiece, but it was a psychological thriller that was gripping, suspenseful and thought-provoking throughout. If you’ve ever suffered from betrayal or a broken heart, this one may strike a chord with you and make you sympathise with certain characters and invest in their story – definitely worth a shot.

“I watch people and I imitate.”

Bart Bromley – The Night Clerk

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