By Bejay Browne
I loved it so much that I have watched Netflix’s Lupin twice.
“Inspired by the adventures of Arsène Lupin, gentleman thief Assane Diop sets out to avenge his father for an injustice inflicted by a wealthy family,” the show says.
Available either in French with English subtitles, or dubbed in English, the series was watched by over 70 million households during its first month, becoming the most-watched non-English series on Netflix and the most watched title on the company’s streaming service in the first quarter of 2021.
The surprise hit stars the talented Omar Sy in the role of the charming Assane Diop, who is inspired to the point of obsession by the adventures of master thief Arsène Lupin, a character created by writer Maurice Leblanc in the early 1900s.
Emmy winner Louis Leterrier directs the five episodes, of around 43 minutes each.
Right from the start, the series engages audiences as the story unfolds around ‘professional’ thief Assane, the son of a Senegalese immigrant. His father is wrongly accused of the theft of a priceless, unique diamond necklace by his employer, a wealthy and hugely unlikeable Hubert Pellegrini (Hervé Pierre) and hangs himself in his prison cell, leaving teenage Assane an orphan.
Cut to the present and Assane uses white people’s general racial blind spots when it comes to black immigrants as cover to carry out robberies. He is set on avenging his father’s death and proving that Pellegrini framed his father.
Inspired by a book about Arsène Lupin, a fictional ‘gentleman thief’ which his father gave him, he uses it as a sort of handbook, utlising disguises and plots which are mirrored in each chapter of the book.
Audiences root for Assane, the underdog, from the start and the production is a modern twist on an old-fashioned character of a much loved genre.
The series is slick, addictive and defiantly bingeworthy, a mix of Sherlock Holmes meets Luther, meets Oceans Eleven.
The final episode of the first season left the audience on a suspenseful cliffhanger. Season 2 dropped on Netflix on Friday.