Series review: Despite slickness, ennui sets in as ‘Money Heist’ season 4 streams

Season four of  ‘Money Heist’ is now available on Netflix. (Supplied)
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Updated 06 April 2020

Series review: Despite slickness, ennui sets in as ‘Money Heist’ season 4 streams

CHENNAI: Netflix’s wildly popular Spanish original “Money Heist” (“La Casa de Papel”) kicked off with a band of robbers led by The Professor (Alvaro Morte) sneaking into the Royal Mint of Spain in Madrid, printing currency notes and escaping.

This week, season four was released after much anticipation online. Made up of eight episodes, the season follows the team — each of whom is named after a city — as they try to grab gold from the Bank of Spain while The Professor himself takes on a personal mission related to his lady-love, Lisbon.

The series, created by Alex Pina, is slickly done with the dead Berlin (Pedro Alonso) returning in flashbacks. The gang, which calls itself La Banda, attempts to execute Berlin’s plan with his best friend Palermo (Rodrigo de la Serna) as the operation’s new chief.

There are twists and turns, a power struggle between characters and the usual added flavor of romances and breakups. There is also more of a focus on the emotional side of The Professor — audiences will follow him as he makes tough calls on his love life and commitments.

There is also a marked increase in on-screen brutality — what used to be a battle of wits has boiled over into a slinging match with plenty of blood and violence. While in previous seasons, tension was built using the threat of violence — with Berlin’s unhinged character playing a main role in this — now, there is no anticipation or anxiety. Characters let rip and it seems like a failed ploy to distract viewers from the fact we aren’t really learning anything new for much of the run-time.

Much like TV serials, which go on forever, “Money Heist” now feels a bit jaded and ennui has begun to set in. The conflicts are the same and the flashbacks to times when the gang was planning the heist haven’t got anything new to say. The police interrogations are incredibly drab and the romantic yearnings are portrayed with no real vigor. Here’s to hoping season five will breathe new life into this much-loved show. Bella ciao!


Egyptian actor and academic Sanaa Shafea dies aged 77

Updated 12 August 2020

Egyptian actor and academic Sanaa Shafea dies aged 77

  • The actor suffered from severe pneumonia during the past two days
  • Culture Minister Inas Abdel Dayem paid tribute to Shafea saying he had “formed a dramatic milestone"

CAIRO: Egyptian actor and academic Sanaa Shafea died on Wednesday at the age of 77 after a short illness.
The actor suffered from severe pneumonia during the past two days before he died in hospital, Egyptian newspapers said. 
Egyptian Culture Minister Inas Abdel Dayem paid tribute to Shafea saying he had “formed a dramatic milestone in Egyptian theatrical performance,” Al-Akhbar El-Youm newspaper reported.
Abdel Dayem said that throughout his career he succeeded in performing complex characters and produced a group of immortal works.
The actor, theater director and professor was the dean of the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Cairo.  
He reportedly married nine times, among them his marriage to Egyptian actor Nada Bassiouny.
Born in 1943, in Assiut region, Upper Egypt, Shafea lived in a village for eight years before moving to Cairo with his father.
His love for acting was met with objection from his father, who was a scholar at Al-Azhar Islamic Institute.
Shafea took part in almost 30 films and played a number of roles in many television series, the most prominent of which are “Omar bin Abdul Aziz”, “Haroun Al-Rasheed”, “Bab Al-Khalq”, “Hadret Al Motaham Aby”, and during last Ramadan he participated in “Layalina 80”.