Lupin: A Masterpiece Series of Heists and Deceptions, Part One

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Directed By: Louis Letterier & Marcela Said

Starring: Omar Sy, Ludivine Sagnier, Clotilde Hesme & Vincent Londez

Release Date: 8th January 2021 (Netflix)

Genres: Action, Crime, Drama, Mystery

Synopsis: The story follows professional thief Assane Diop, the only son of an immigrant from Senegal who had come to France to seek a better life for his child. Assane’s father is framed for the theft of an expensive diamond necklace by his employer, the wealthy and powerful Hubert Pellegrini, and hangs himself in his prison cell out of shame, leaving the teenage Assane an orphan. Twenty-five years later, inspired by a book about gentleman thief Arsène Lupin his father had given him on his birthday, Assane sets out to get revenge on the Pellegrini family, using his charisma and mastery of thievery, subterfuge, and disguise to expose Hubert’s crimes.

Rating: ★★★★☆

A Netflix Gem

In the world of sophisticated heists and cunning deceptions, “Lupin” shines as a Netflix gem. This gripping series, inspired by the adventures of Arsène Lupin, takes you on a rollercoaster ride of exhilarating drama, intricate plots, and a protagonist with a face blessed by genetics.

The Legacy of Lupin

Meet Assane Diop, portrayed brilliantly by Omar Sy, a man whose life is intricately woven with the legacy of the classic French character, Lupin. Assane is not your typical thief; he’s a gentleman burglar with a penchant for audacious capers. His fascination with the Queen’s Necklace, a stolen masterpiece once owned by Marie Antoinette, sets the stage for a thrilling narrative.

Assane, suited up, holding the Queen's necklace in the delicate grasp of his white gloves.

Layers Upon Layers

Assane, a janitor at the Louvre, harbours grander dreams. With an ex-wife (Ludivine Sagnier as Claire) and a son (Etan Simon as Raoul) to support, he embarks on a daring plan to steal the priceless necklace during an auction. What follows is a cascade of unexpected events, where Assane’s true identity and motives are revealed layer by layer.

A Master of Disguise

Assane is a master of disguise, shifting his entire persona with each role he assumes. His chameleon-like transformations make for mesmerising viewing. Whether he’s an unassuming IT guy, a confident police officer, or himself, Assane’s charm and charisma are undeniable, making him a character you can’t help but root for.

Makes You Question Everything

The series weaves between the past, present, and near past, gradually unveiling Assane’s complex life and his obsession with Lupin. It keeps you on your toes, delivering twists and revelations that redefine the entire narrative. The non-linear storytelling enhances the viewing experience, offering fresh perspectives and making you question everything you’ve seen before.

Beyond the heists and disguises, “Lupin” subtly addresses issues of bias, racism, and classism. It doesn’t preach but instead lets these themes seep into the narrative through small interactions and moments. Assane’s ability to go unnoticed or be remembered differently by people highlights the pervasive impact of internal bias.

A Sore Point

While Assane is a captivating character, his repeated absenteeism in his son’s life becomes a sore point. His ex-wife’s constant reminders of important events highlight the need to normalize fathers sharing the emotional labour of parenting. Assane’s choice to be incompetent in this aspect is frustrating and a missed opportunity for more meaningful character development.

A train ride with Assane, his wife and son. Posing for a selfie, they look happy.
Photo: Netflix, Fair Use

Will There Be More?

In the end, “Lupin” is a captivating series that offers escapism, entertainment, and social commentary. It combines heists, disguises, and multi-layered deceptions with subtle yet effective commentary on societal issues. The choreographed escapades add levity, preventing the series from becoming overly dark. However, be prepared for an abrupt ending that leaves you eagerly awaiting the next installment.

The Action Reloaded Summary

“Lupin” is a Netflix masterpiece that blends thrilling heists, intricate deceptions, and a charismatic lead character. Assane Diop, inspired by Arsène Lupin, takes you on a journey through a maze of mystery and intrigue. The series skilfully addresses societal issues while delivering a rollercoaster of entertainment.

Rating: ★★★★☆ Action Reloaded

Check out the review for Lupin, Part Two and Lupin, Part Three.

Watch on Netflix now.

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