“La Casa de Papel” on Netflix – Review by Olivia 11/6/20
The most anticipated TV show, according to Netflix, is La Casa de Papel (AKA “Money Heist”)
When you’ve connected with someone on your favorite dating site and have spent some time developing the chemistry between you, the next step will always be making plans for meeting up for a proper date. Before that, it’s all about finding common ground to chat about – and flirting. Netflix is growing in popularity all the time, so focusing on the hottest shows is always a terrific icebreaker. The bonus is that this will provide the perfect agenda for that all-important first encounter. Gone are the days when singles would often consider rushing out to restaurants or movie theaters as their automatic first choice. As the nights grow darker, a cozy night in front of Netflix, with refreshments to hand, is the perfect suggestion.
With a mind-boggling list of choices, the next question for consideration is which series to watch. How about La Casa de Papel (literally, “The House of Paper” but Netflix is calling it “Money Heist”)? This Spanish crime drama has become hugely popular, giving couples gripping plots, engaging characters, and captivating storylines that frequently flashback or jump in time.
The series completely captures the viewer’s attention. Each of us would like to be as fearless as Tokyo, to have a lot of backbone as Nairobi, or maybe even fall in love with someone like Denver. You could try to create your own story here.
Filmed on location in several places around the world, mainly Spain but also including Italy, Panama, and Thailand by the second series, the Money Heist (to give it its English title) is all about events unfolding around a daring bank job. Initially set in Madrid, the story commences when a mysterious individual who is known only as the Professor instigates a breathtaking plan to infiltrate the Royal Mint of Spain to steal over €2 billion. To that end, he recruits an elite team of eight criminals from disparate backgrounds. Plans go awry when they are forced to barricade themselves inside the building with 67 hostages, remaining here for 11 days to print the money while police forces surround them.
The Professor is the enigmatic main character, a criminal mastermind who comes up with a devious plan to pull off the world’s greatest-ever robbery, printing billions of euros right under the noses of the Spanish police inside the Royal Mint.
His team is called named after various cities. Tokyo is his first recruit (and sometime narrator), although the problem with her is that she is somewhat unreliable. Berlin, the older brother of the professor, his lieutenant, is a jewel thief who is also terminally ill. Rio is an enthusiastic young hacker. Nairobi is an expert counterfeiter who is also adept at melting gold.
The action commences in the aftermath of a failed bank robbery. The female behind this (Tokyo) is saved from capture by The Professor, who then suggests she participates in his ambitious plan, the likes of which has never been seen before. We then jump to the beginning of an assault on the Royal Mint in Madrid, carried out by a team of eight robbers dressed in red jumpsuits, with Salvador Dali masks.
Events are directed by The Professor from a remote location, and throughout parts one and two of the first season the months of preparation are revealed in flashbacks as we see the countryside retreat where the gang makes their plans, without being allowed to share information about themselves, or engage in personal relationships. The aim is that this heist will be carried out cleanly, without bloodshed.
From the get-go, events are plagued by difficulties as the robbers fail to stick to The Professor’s rules, hindered by uncooperative hostages. Mutiny also festers within the group.
Commencing three years after the assault, we follow the lives of the eight they have built in different locations. The cat and mouse game between Europol and the gang continues when one member, Rio, is captured. The Professor decides to attack the Bank of Spain to give him leverage in persuading the police to release Rio unharmed. There are various other plot twists involving double-crossing, the complicated personal relationships within the group, and members being targeted by police snipers.
Overall, this is the perfect Netflix series to captivate you and your partner as you enjoy your leisure time and get to know each other better. The combination of the initial premise (a spectacular and ambitious bank heist the likes of which has never been seen before) and the intriguing and fully-realized characters, makes for an emotional journey.
You are never too sure what is going to happen next, guaranteeing edge-of-the-seat viewing, while the flashback and jump-forwards mean that the story can spiral off into interesting new twists just when you are least expecting this.
From Wikipedia: Money Heist (Spanish: La casa de papel, “The House of Paper”) is a Spanish heist crime drama television series created by Álex Pina. The series traces two long-prepared heists led by the Professor (Álvaro Morte), one on the Royal Mint of Spain, and one on the Bank of Spain. The series was initially intended as a limited series to be told in two parts. It had its original run of 15 episodes on Spanish network Antena 3 from 2 May 2017 through 23 November 2017. Netflix acquired global streaming rights in late 2017. It re-cut the series into 22 shorter episodes and released them worldwide, beginning with the first part on 20 December 2017, followed by the second part on 6 April 2018. In April 2018, Netflix renewed the series with a significantly increased budget for 16 new episodes total. Part 3, with eight episodes, was released on 19 July 2019. Part 4, also with eight episodes, was released on 3 April 2020. A documentary involving the producers and the cast premiered on Netflix the same day, titled Money Heist: The Phenomenon (Spanish: La casa de papel: El Fenómeno). In July 2020, Netflix renewed the show for a fifth and final part.
The series was filmed in Madrid, Spain. Significant portions of part 3 and 4 were also filmed in Panama, Thailand, and Italy (Florence). The narrative is told in a real-time-like fashion and relies on flashbacks, time-jumps, hidden character motivations, and an unreliable narrator for complexity. The series subverts the heist genre by being told from the perspective of a woman, Tokyo (Úrsula Corberó), and having a strong Spanish identity, where emotional dynamics offset the perfect strategic crime.
The series received several awards including best drama series at the 46th International Emmy Awards, as well as critical acclaim for its sophisticated plot, interpersonal dramas, direction, and for trying to innovate Spanish television. The Italian anti-fascist song “Bella ciao,” which plays multiple times throughout the series, became a summer hit across Europe in 2018. By 2018, the series was the most-watched non-English language series and one of the most-watched series overall on Netflix, with a particular resonance coming from viewers from Mediterranean Europe and the Latin American world.
Proofread and Edited by Brenda
The opinions in these articles are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of TVMEG.COM or its other volunteers.