Cats: Úrsula Corberó, Itziar Ituño, Álvaro Morte, Paco TousCreator: Álex Pina
This review is based on the first five episodes made available by Netflix, so the final opinion may change but at first glance, the new season seems to be following a traditional upward trajectory the earlier seasons have followed. It’s so typical of Money Heist makers to keep the best towards the end that even the most action oriented scenes seem to be lacking something. That way, the rest of the series may offer more than what we think right now.
It’s a continuous story where Professor (Alvaro Morte) and his gang are trying to rob the Bank of Spain of all its gold reserve. The daring heist is in the middle of its planning where things can easily go south. Professor is the strongest link of this chain, but even he seems to be cracking slowly, especially when his girlfriend and former cop Raquel (Itziar Ituño) has been captured.
Actually, Money Heist is very simple in its approach to the story but very complex with the treatment of its primary characters. Which means, the heist remains simple with characters getting unique trajectories of their own. In last three seasons, two of the prominent women characters—Tokyo (Úrsula Corberó) and Nairobi (Alba Flores)—have carved their niche. They’re the supplements to fill the space that remains vacant when Professor is not in his element.
Among the male characters, Denver (Jaime Lorente) and Rio (Miguel Herrán), have gotten the most defined arcs, but that’s also a constraint as they become predictable, which is in contrast with the show’s texture.
One specialty that recent Spanish shows on Netflix—Toy Boy, Elite, El Dragon—have shown is the branching of the plot through characters. They give ample space to every prominent character to flourish so much so that some episodes even become their personal backstory. Their writers are mostly in command of where and how to get everyone back together right before the climax. In Money Heist, creator Alex Pina has followed the same drill. He is definitely one of the finest show-runners in the OTT business right now.
However, Money Heist’s appeal goes beyond this. More than a sleek thriller, it’s a reflection of the developing world where money is fast becoming the most defining need of life, but because such societies still can’t leave the traditional lifestyle, the moral compass keeps dangling between two poles of socialism and capitalism.
You know that Professor and his team are robbers, sometimes they even kill people, but you root for them as you identify with their needs. At the same time, you view or like to view the police as the villain despite them doing what they’re supposed to do. The makers of Money Heist beautifully utilise our dilemma of being defenseless in a big bad world run by the powerful state machinery. The team’s rebellion fans our own imagination of standing up against the mighty, and right there Money Heist wins you over as an impactful social drama than just a thriller.
Another slightly underrated aspect of Money Heist is its background score. The show might not be the same for the global audience without its very mainstream yet distinct score.
Coming back to the current season, it has not picked up the same pace as previous seasons but the proper built up is there and rest of the episodes may turn out to better.
Overall, why wouldn’t you watch a world class show like Money Heist, especially when you have followed it for three seasons!
Interact with Rohit Vats at Twitter/@nawabjha