Lupin: Part 1 (2021) Review

Directed By: Louis Letterier & Marcela Said

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

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

Review: Lupin is a French series based on the adventure stories of Arsène Lupin. The books, written by Maurice Leblanc, are the focal point of this thrilling new Netflix show, created by George Kay and François Uzan.

Omar Sy plays Assane Diop, the lead character. Diop is a gentleman burglar who is obsessed with, and bases his personality around, the classic French character, Lupin. However, like all great mystery thrillers, we find out pieces to the Diop-puzzle with every twist and turn in each episode.

Lupin has only five episodes, each less than an hour long, but each are vital to the story. This is much more effective than filler episodes; it leaves you wanting more. Some episodes show recaps at the end, from an alternative viewpoint, where we see how Lupin’s manipulations were at play. We see flashbacks to his childhood or snip-its from his adult past that help us unfold the story, too.

Assane, much like Ethan Hunt from the Mission Impossible film series, uses drones to carry out reconnaissance, and he is a whizz with technology. He is a man of many disguises, as well as a formidable opponent in hand-to-hand combat.

The characters and their relationships with Assane are all uncovered with flashbacks. The most intriguing are his love affairs; he has a doting relationship with his estranged wife and childhood sweetheart, Claire, but also has a ‘Romeo and Juliet’ relationship with Juliette Pellegrini, whose family are his main antagonists.

The first series of Lupin cleverly introduces the characters, and it sets the bar high for series two; it is very much worth the watch, and will get you hooked!


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