Lupin: Season 1 Review

Netflix’s first French original series Lupin climbed to the top of the streaming platform’s most watched list and quenched the thirst of fans of a good mystery. With only five episodes for the first season, its a quick binge.

Synopsis: Assane Diop (Omar Sy) is secretly one of the greatest burglars and con artists in all of France. He is a master of disguise who uses his supreme intelligence and quick wit to get out of the stickiest situations. He plans to steal the necklace of Marie Antoinette from The Louvre but discovers that the secrets that the jewel carries is connected to his dead father.

At first glance, Lupin is a great nod to classic whodunits with a modern twist. This is the perfect embodiment of the lead character, who takes inspiration from the famed Arsene Lupin, gentleman burglar, the main protagonist in Maurice LeBlanc’s adventure series in the 1960s, if the character is introduced to modern technology and trusted accomplices in present day.

Omar Sy is a great choice for the role. He can shift from being a suave billionaire to a lowly janitor in an instant and he pulls it off with a confidence that only a great conman can. The actor doesn’t do much but somehow, his easy gait and affability is enough to effectively portray the role.

I admit that at times, it seems unbelievable how efficiently he is able to blend into the shadows but it kind of makes sense too, as it illustrates one of his father’s statements that the rich don’t really “look” at people whom they consider to be beneath them.

Its fun to watch Assane take on different personas and stay one step ahead of his enemies. It is interesting to see each layer of the plot unfold as more mysteries are unlocked about his father and the corrupt Hubert Pellegrini.

At times I wonder though if the French police has ever thought of processing a crime scene because surely, they would find Assane’s fingerprints all over the place. The guy never uses gloves. In some cases, his disguise only comprises of a pair of glasses. Like, seriously, are there no high quality CCTVs at the Louvre, at City Hall or any French establishment?

Its absurd how Juliette and Anne Pellegrini remain so blind to Hubert’s deception after 25 years of being with the man.

In the same way, it was frustrating to learn that Assane simply planned the heist because he felt like it, and not because he believed that his father was innocent for the better part of two decades (and a half). He was 14 when he died. He should have known his dad better.

I like the parallels that the show is establishing between Assane and his son. It would be interesting to see how Raoul connects the dots and discovers what his Papa has really been up to.

Despite these concerns, Lupin is a great way to spend hours of your spare time, but because of its length, it only manages to touch on the surface. Its pretty light for a crime mystery but has its own laid back charm. I would like to see how Season 2 plays out now that Assane’s identity is clear to both his enemies and a few select members of the French police.