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!