Bella Ciao to all those classic stereotypical expectations belonging to a heist drama. Hola to Lacasa de Papel, otherwise known as Money Heist: the Netflix show that undeniably offers a fresh, original perspective to the typical robbery plotline that has been beaten and bruised repeatedly over time.
The Spanish series immediately submerges the audience straight into the action, creating a sustained tension from the outset, which is amplified by the unreliable narrator and the lack of initial information surrounding the characters; almost mirroring the unexpectedness of a heist, dragging the watcher straight into the heart of the chaotic environment. The realistic agenda of the series is exaggerated by the relatable Spaniard identity and the ever-changing moralities of the characters, causing conflict as the robbers become somewhat heroes to the public as the episodes progress. A ‘robin hood’ effect is generated, forming ethical and empathetical justifications to the heist, as the protagonists create the impression that their intention of robbing the Royal Mint of Spain in Madrid is to give the money back to the public. Also, the use of red as an identity colour can even be suggested to link to socialism, and therefore a challenge to capitalism, underlining a political debate subtly entwined within the plot. Especially as the view of the police is twisted by the ingenious manipulation of the Professor, to portray the law enforcement as the criminals, further intensifying the drama.
Moreover, the additional emotional motivation of the heist increases the sympathy and attachment felt towards the thieves and creates an impassioned vacuum, causing irresistible distress when main characters become inevitable martyrs. These unexpected plot twists emphasise the originality and individualism of the series and show how the producers have completely transcended the clichés attached to a typical ‘heist’ and constructed a thrilling, heart-wrenching masterpiece. Lacasa de Papel (Money Heist) is considerably underrated, deserving more recognition and appreciation than it currently possesses. It is undoubtedly one of the more accomplished Netflix series out there.
Last modified: 11th October 2019