If you find it strange when I say that I have Stockholm Syndrome, then let me tell you that I do not have anything in defence. No, I have not been kidnapped but yes, I have fallen in love with a kidnapper. Pedro Alonso, who plays the role of Berlin in the first and second season of Money Heist, is the one who has stolen my heart. His charming looks, suave manners and his despicable beliefs are something that can draw anyone towards him.
Money Heist or La Casa da Papel is a Spanish web series on Netflix that has all the elements of being called a potboiler. It is a crime thriller that is based on executing the biggest heist in the world. A criminal mastermind who goes by the alias of ‘The Professor’ designs a perfect plan to print billions of euros inside the very famous Royal Mint in Spain. For the job, he brings together a group of able swindlers who excel in different skills. These eight thieves, along with the Professor, carry out this masterplan, meanwhile keeping the hostages safe as they are their only admit card for negotiations with the police. The first two seasons build up enough adrenaline rush for the eventual showdown in the last episode of season 2. But the wait is worth all the time.
Exemplary performances, neat cinematography, witty narrative, intricate plotting and marvellous execution- all these make Money Heist one of the most-watched shows on Netflix. Alvaro Morte as the professor is perfect for the role. Introverted by nature, the professor’s brilliance in getting rid of any evidence that can give away his identity is worth watching. His squabble with the inspector which later transforms into a love affair is a joy to watch. While the professor spends time outside the Mint safeguarding his team from the police and the intelligence, his team members salvage his principles by making sure that the principles and rules of the heist are not broken. However, things mess up when team members start developing affection, fall prey to pride, lose control and act impulsively. Decisions made in haste result in bloodshed and hopelessness.
The show tries to focus on the ‘resistance’ that the government faces when the people fight for their freedom. The professor, along with Berlin, is shown to sing and shake a leg on the song Bella Ciao. The significance of this song can be dated back to the Italian resistance by the rice workers in the 19th century. It is quite possible that the professor and Berlin viewed the Mint as the entire government and the heist a form of resistance towards the hierarchy of the ones in authority.
Each one of the eight people behind those Dali masks has a quality to adore. Tokyo is impulsive and hot-headed. If she isn’t there, there wouldn’t be any risks or problems to solve. Denver is compassionate yet puts up a mask of strength and barbarity. His compassion is what keeps the spirits of the gang alive and helps them be more forbearing with the hostages. Moscow, Denver’s father, is quiet and experienced. He keeps the gang tied together in their common motive. Helsinki and Oslo are as quiet as their names. Their presence adds to the strength of the group.
Nairobi is the only level-headed female who is pragmatic yet vulnerable on the inside. She knows how to persuade people to get things done and that comes handy in the heist. Rio is a mouse potato or a cybernaut who knows how to use technology to his advantage. But he is the weakest link. Last but not the least, Berlin is the overall in charge of the heist inside the building. He is sardonic, stoic, arrogant and a narcissist. However, his eloquence wins hearts and battles too. He might seem unattached and might show a lack of empathy, but he clearly steals the show with his decisions and choices.
All characters in Money Heist are shown in grey shade. None of them is completely black or completely white. They have their weaknesses and they strive to overcome the roadblocks. The show also focuses on how love is like a war- easy to begin but very difficult to stop.
Overall, Money Heist is your go-to series that cannot be skipped at any cost. It is intriguing and engaging. With every episode, you will be left in awe of the taut plot and the brilliant narrative that defines the outcome of the actions. Every move of the heist is so deftly planned that you cannot afford to follow a hop-skip and jump strategy.