There is a real sense of charm surrounding this French heist smash hit which draws storyline inspiration from the escapades of fictional early 20th century gentleman thief Arsène Lupin.
Centred around the planning, execution and fall out of stealing the worlds most expensive diamond necklace from an auction being held at the Louvre in Paris, the main character Assane Diop is brought to life by the suave magnetism of Omar Sy (X-Men, Jurassic World) who plays the lead with a sense of laid back nonchalance that can’t help but make you smile. This show, if executed properly over coming seasons, has potential to embarrass the box office acclaimed “Ocean’s” franchise.
Examining the racial stereotypes and limited opportunities for BAME communities in France, Diop has been brought up ‘the right way’ by his father and idol Babakar, a hard working, loyal economic migrant from Senegal who has come to Europe to make a better life for his family.
With limited work available for a man with admirable personal traits but little practical experience, Babakar begins to make a living by acting as servant to the wealthy Pellegrini family and is immediately embraced by matriarch Anne. He battles constantly with racial stereotyping from her husband, a racist, nasty piece of work played by Herve Pierre. Documented in the style of flashback’s, Assane grows up a popular young man as his Father toils in order to make ends meet.
The Pellegrini’s are proprietors of a plethora of world treasures including the aforementioned invaluable neckless which soon goes missing. It takes very little imagination for readers of this to guess who gets the blame; this is where the story unfolds.
A testament to the quality of the show lays in the fact it is the first French production to make it into the top 10 most watched series globally in a week since Netflix launched. The dialogue is encapsulating but unless you’re fluent in French you’ll have to make do with subtitles and slightly hammy dubbing however, the acting ability of the cast really amplifies the subterfuge on display and distracts from the language barrier.
Only five episodes on release at this time but rumours are abound of the next tranche dropping at Easter- I really hope so as it would be a perfect birthday present!
Viewed: January 2021