By Natasha Kangrga
At sixteen years old, Assane Diop loses his father to an unjust accusation. Now he has one thing left of him: the novel Arsène Lupin, Gentleman Burglar.
25 years later, gentleman thief Assane Diop prowls the streets of Paris committing elegant crimes using this novel as inspiration to avenge his dead father.
Lupin is a Netflix Original French adventure/thriller series. It is loosely based on the french novel series Arsène Lupin, Gentleman Burglar by Maurice Leblanc. I will be reviewing part one as part two is due to be released this summer.
This addictive series revolves around Assane Diop, a man who lives in Paris and portrays his life as a father and divorcé, but he is far from ordinary.
When Assane was 14, his father got a job as a chauffeur for Hubert Pellegrini, a powerful businessman and one of the richest men in France. When a diamond necklace, originally belonging to Marie Antoinette, was stolen from Mr. Pellegrini’s safe, he immediately blamed it on Babakar, Assane’s father. Babakar was sent to prison, where he commit suicide.
Assane knows his father would never have stolen the necklace. He begins to form a plan to get revenge on Mr Pellegrini, and later on he finds out the real truth about the necklace. This show is packed with twists and turns, plans and thefts, surprises and anticipation, and so much more – but you must watch it for yourself to discover the rest!
Lupin is a captivating series that will keep you on your toes. Let me share some of my favourite parts:
The first aspect I enjoyed about this series was the suspense and the way it’s filmed. I loved the feeling of starting a new episode and having no clue what was about to happen!
For example, take a look at this scene:
What do you think is going to happen? Even if you haven’t watched the series, you can recognize the building behind him: The Louvre. The Louvre is a museum in Paris, so you would probably guess that he’s going to look at art, right? Well, you’re wrong. I bet I’ve already intrigued you!
So now you can see my point – you don’t know what’s going to happen. But you can’t just have “suspense”. You need things to make something “suspenseful”, and this series takes advantage of that as well: music, shots, lighting, facial expressions, conflicts, secrets – they all contribute to it! In the end, everything comes together for that moment where you are in shock.
Another aspect I thought was amusing were the flashbacks. Constantly throughout the series, flashbacks were shown with the purpose of informing the viewers about the past and how it affected the future, but I personally enjoyed just learning about the characters. For example, I liked comparing characters’ relationships and understanding where things went wrong – like Juliette Pellegrini and Assane, or how characters acted when they were young compared to when they got older – like Assane and Claire.
The final aspect – and my favourite aspect – of this show was the way the writers continually laid clues throughout the series for the viewers to keep an eye out for. What I mean by this is that you had to listen carefully to conversations characters had, or watch their actions because they all had meaning.
For example, Assane is always planning something, and you may find yourself getting a little annoyed or thinking “this doesn’t make sense!” – but be patient and keep watching. Also, listen to details and think about names and spelling, because let’s just say there are different variations of a certain name!
Lupin is a compelling, clever, and puzzling show, but obviously not perfect. The most obvious problem is how the series can be unrealistic. Events that take place can leave you in confusion and don’t always make the most sense – but this is a common problem amongst many other films and series, especially in genres involving theft or crime.
I highly recommend Lupin to anyone because it is definitely worth your while. If you are a fan of the Oceans franchise or the film The Thomas Crown Affair – this series is made for you! (Also, you can use it to improve your french!)