A little background, because it’s really interesting. The series Money Heist originally consisted of two parts of one season, with each episode of this series lasting 70 minutes. It was shown in 2017 on the Spanish channel Antena 3. Initially, the ratings of the series were quite high, but gradually the audience’s interest in the series subsided, which was facilitated by the fact that the channel, as was customary then, showed one episode per week, moreover, with In the show, the dynamism and drama of the narrative was pretty much confused by the inevitable advertising interruptions, and the long summer break between the shows of the first and second parts practically ruined the audience’s interest in the series.
As a result, the series ended with a rather low rating, there was no bright event in Spain, there was no question of any continuation, so the actors said goodbye to each other and dispersed in search of new roles.
But then the streaming service Netflix appeared, which acquired the rights to show this series for a very modest amount. Before the show, the specialists of the service, who clearly do not eat their bread in vain, did a very right thing: they re-edited the series into a 50-minute format, with each episode ending with some spectacular dramatic twist (there was no shortage of such twists in the original series).
The series was split into two seasons: the first had thirteen episodes, the second had nine. And they showed these seasons the way Netflix usually shows them: the whole season at once, without any commercials. Moreover, Netflix did not conduct any advertising campaign: they knew that the series had a low rating in Spain and did not really count on anything.
However, completely unexpectedly for the management of Netflix, that for the creators and actors of the series, interest in the series began to explode around the world, and it quickly became the most popular non-English-language series on Netflix in history. (For an English-speaking audience, of course, appropriate voice acting was also done.)
Well, it started – the 2018 International Emmy Award in the category “Best Drama Series”, the New York Times newspaper includes Money Heist in the list of the best foreign television series, users include The Professor, Tokyo and Denver in the top 20 most popular heroes of the series according to a survey of the largest base of television shows TV Time.
Interestingly, in the wake of international success, success and fame came to the series in Spain: in Spanish Netflix, the number of views and the rating of the series just went through the roof, and iconic actors (especially Ursula Corbero – Tokyo, Pedro Alonso – Berlin and Alvaro Morte – Professor) became celebrities.
Of course, Netflix immediately started talking about the sequel, for which they were ready to allocate a very serious budget (there was practically no chance that the sequel would not arouse interest among the public around the world), so what about Alex Pina that the actors received offers, from which they could not refuse by definition.
The third season was collected according to the patterns of the first story. In the original, there was a robbery of the Mint – in the continuation, they started a robbery of the Bank of Spain, where the country’s gold reserves are stored. (It is planned to be melted down and taken out somehow.) Hell? They didn’t fool around with this at all: the infernal police “the main bitch among all bitches” Alicia Sierra (Niva Nimri) captured the handsome Rio (by his own stupidity), and, therefore, after that the whole brigade seized the bank so that Rio would be returned to them.
In the original, the operation inside the bank was led by Berlin, in the continuation of the operation, his longtime accomplice Palermo (Rodrigo De la Serna) is in charge of the operation. The Professor, as usual, controls the operation remotely and tries to foresee any turn of events, and this time he is helped by Lisbon, who was the police negotiator Raquel (Itziar Itunho) in the first two seasons, with whom the Professor had an affair. (Raquel did not know who he was then.)
The third season, in my opinion, was quite good, and it turned out even better than I expected. Yes, this is all to a certain extent a repetition of the past, but it looked quite exciting. In addition, Pina understood that the audience really wanted to see, probably, the main star of the first two seasons – Berlin, so he was included in the series in the form of several flashbacks.
With the fourth season, there was a bit of a bummer. It was originally announced that this season would be the final one (the first story was also made up of two seasons), and I was waiting for how they would finish it, but quite unexpectedly for many viewers, the fourth season was actually cut off in mid-sentence. At the end of the fourth season, the security chief of the Bank of Spain, Gandia (Jose Manuel Rivera), who plays an important role in the story there, shot Nairobi (Alba Flores), Lisbon, previously captured by Alicia Sierra, with the help of a cunning plan, the robbers managed to deliver to the bank, and Alicia Sierra managed to get to the Professor. That is, there was a dramatic intensity, but there was no end to the series.
Then they announced that now the series will definitely end in the fifth season and it will be released in two parts: the first five episodes will be released on September 3, 2021, and the remaining five episodes should be released on December 3 this year.
To be honest, against the background of a certain disappointment with the fourth season, I did not expect anything special from the fifth season. Well, it was clear that all sorts of difficulties and difficulties would continue to arise before the group, which they would solve hard, but with dignity, from time to time incurring some new losses, it was also clear that the Professor would come up with some kind of ingenious plan again (however , first he had to somehow resolve the issue with Alicia Sierra), and everything will develop approximately in line with the fourth season.
However, it soon became clear that I was wrong. The creators of the series did not make the fifth season in the style of the fourth, but in some way changed the concept in the direction of a noticeable increase in the degree of confrontation, and from time to time the audience is shown really serious battles, for which money, apparently, was not spared.
And here there is already a confrontation far from only with the police, but also with the army, and to tame the group entrenched in the Bank of Spain, Colonel Romira, the commander of a group of specific thugs who were usually sent to do the dirtiest work, was called in.
Several battles were staged so spectacularly and dynamically that they would do honor to a good full-length blockbuster, and I must say that the fifth season, in terms of the dynamics of what is happening and in terms of purely visual effect, is the best among all the other seasons: the shooting there is absolutely frenzied, and it is filmed beautifully .
Yes, the style of the series has changed markedly. If earlier unexpected plot twists and ingenious combinations of the Professor were at the forefront, this season is already pure and practically unclouded RUBILOVO.
By the way, before the release of the fifth season, Alex Pina deliberately fooled journalists and viewers, hinting that a “new main villain” would appear in the series, which, they say, would be played by Miguel Angel Silvestri, and many journalists wrote about this. (Well, or he was just misunderstood when he talked about a new hero.) Miguel Angel Silvestri did appear in the fifth season, but he played Tokyo’s ex-lover Rene, whose story was shown in flashbacks (Rene died long before the events of the first season).
Flashbacks are fine here. Since in the reality of the fifth season there are continuous violent clashes, flashbacks dramatically change the mood of the series, when the audience moves from the adrenaline of bloody battles to the love story of Tokyo or to the next flashbacks from the former life of Berlin, and here with Berlin everything is much better than in the third or fourth seasons, and the audience is even shown one of the most interesting robbery adventures in Berlin, and this flashback was very effectively staged and a lot of money obviously went into it.
It must be admitted that with certainty, especially if we talk about the events during the robbery of the Bank of Spain, everything is already very bad here: the coolest skirmishes demonstrate the specific indestructibility of certain characters, machine guns and machine guns clearly have absolutely bottomless magazines, Colonel Tamayo has become completely caricatured (Colonel Prieto from the first two seasons was much more authentic), and the transformation of Arturo Roman, the former director of the Mint, into a specific Terminator – it looked, of course, quite funny.
But this did not go to the detriment of the impression of the series: most viewers were well aware that since the concept had changed here (and rightly so) and they were shown such a cool action movie, then the rules of the game within the series itself were already changing.
I really liked the first part of the fifth season, I did not even expect that they would change course so abruptly, which, it seems to me, was done absolutely correctly and correctly. The fifth series of the first part is just some kind of catharsis, that’s just very cool. But all the other series of the first part are cool, in my opinion, there were no complete passages there.
So they did everything right, I will say, and I will wait for the second part of the fifth season in December. I really hope that they finish this story with dignity: after all, this is really a landmark series.
Money Heist – fifth season review / La Casa de Papel. Season 5 review
Director: Alex Pina Cast: Juan Fernandez, Ursula Corbero, Itziar Ituño, Alvaro Morte, Pedro Alonso, Alba Flores, Miguel Herran, Jaime Lorente, Esther Asebo, Enrique Arce, Fernando Soto, Mario de la Rosa, Darko Peric, Rodrigo De La Serna, Fernando Cayo, Naiva Nimri, Maria Pedraza, José Manuel Rivera, Miguel Angel Silvestri
Series, Spain, 2021, 50 min. action movie, 5 episodes