Lupin, a French television series on Netflix, has captivated audiences with its thrilling and clever storytelling. The show, which debuted in January 2021, is inspired by the classic French character Arsène Lupin, a gentleman thief who uses his wit and cunning to pull off elaborate heists. However, the show’s creators have given the character a modern twist, placing him in contemporary Paris and incorporating timely social commentary.
At its core, Lupin is a masterclass in thriller storytelling. Here are some of the elements that make it such a compelling watch.
A Clever Protagonist
The success of any thriller hinges on its protagonist, and in Lupin, we have a particularly captivating one. Omar Sy plays Assane Diop, a charismatic and intelligent man who is driven by a desire to avenge his father’s wrongful imprisonment. Diop is a master of disguise, able to seamlessly blend into any situation and adapt to any persona. He is also a skilled planner, able to anticipate his opponents’ moves and stay several steps ahead of them.
What makes Diop such a compelling character is his motivation. He is not simply a criminal looking to make a quick buck; he is driven by a deep sense of justice and a desire to right a wrong. This makes his heists all the more exciting, as we are rooting for him to succeed.
Speaking of heists, Lupin is full of them. Each episode features a new scheme, as Diop works his way closer to uncovering the truth about his father’s imprisonment. The heists themselves are intricate and well-planned, with plenty of twists and turns along the way. Watching Diop execute his plan with precision is both thrilling and satisfying.
What sets Lupin’s heists apart from those in other shows is their creativity. For example, in one episode, Diop poses as a wealthy collector in order to gain access to a rare book. In another, he stages a fake kidnapping to gain leverage over a powerful businessman. Each heist is unique and clever, keeping the audience engaged and guessing until the very end.
Timely Social Commentary
While Lupin is first and foremost a thriller, it also touches on important social issues. The show explores themes of race, class, and inequality, particularly as they relate to contemporary Paris. Diop is a Senegalese immigrant, and his experiences with racism and discrimination inform his character and his motivations.
The show also delves into the world of the French elite, shining a light on the vast wealth and power held by a small group of individuals. Through Diop’s heists, we see how the elite use their resources to maintain their grip on power, often at the expense of those less fortunate. This commentary is especially timely in light of recent social and political movements around the world.
Compelling Supporting Characters
While Sy’s performance as Diop is undoubtedly the standout of the show, Lupin also boasts a strong supporting cast. Ludivine Sagnier plays Claire, Diop’s ex-girlfriend and the mother of his son. Their relationship is complex, with Claire serving as both a potential ally and a potential obstacle to Diop’s plans.
Meanwhile, Hervé Pierre plays Hubert Pellegrini, the wealthy businessman who is Diop’s main target. Pellegrini is a nuanced character, with his own motivations and secrets that make him more than just a one-dimensional villain.
Twists and Turns
Finally, what sets Lupin apart from other thrillers is its many twists and turns. Just when we think we have the story figured out, the show throws us a curveball. Whether it’s a sudden betrayal or a shocking revelation.