Release Date: 03/12/2021

Platform: Netflix

Cast: Álvaro Morte, Najwa Nimri, Itziar Ituño, Pedro Alonso

Creator: Alex Pina

I lost my interest in the Money Heist series after sitting through the abysmally atrocious Part 5- Vol 1. The only reason I wanted to see the finale was because I wanted to see how low the makers of this once entertaining and investing series could stoop down to. I was also interested to see how far the makers would push the boundaries of realism, believability, and conducive coincidences to make the dominoes (that is basically the story and the characters of this series at this point) fall in place and merit what can be called an ending to this atrocious and offensive story.

As was the case with Part 5- Vol 1, this is no longer a heist story. Part 1 was about a full-blown war between the handful of thieves and the Spanish special forces. This time around, the Professor (Álvaro Morte) first must contend with an escape attempt by Alicia Sierra (Najwa Nimri) who he must somehow retrieve before she exposes his hideout in exchange for getting her life back. The Professor and Sierra then suddenly become friends and are then trapped inside a sealed-off zone that they somehow must escape from to survive.

Even before the duo recovers from this ordeal, the thieves have their stash of gold stolen and are forced to a corner as their only bargaining chip is taken away from them. Colonel Tamayo (Fernando Cayo) and his men finally force their way into the Bank. While one portion of the gang is busy locating the stolen gold, The Professor, and the rest of the thieves in the bank involve Tamayo and his entire army in a mind game that is not only aimed at buying the team looking for the gold more time but also ensuring that the thieves get out bank alive and free.

As outrageous as the series has become of late, the insanity of the proceedings here is taken to a whole new level here. The different characters change their allegiance in the blink of an eye and then turn back to their older sides even faster. People who are terribly wronged forget their grievances and depend on the same characters who caused the turmoil with critical responsibilities. The defence forces are depicted as some of the most incompetent people who are played and toyed with by the thieves.

There comes a moment at the end of the series when the Professor literally talks Tamayo into accepting a brutal defeat and arranges for the thieves to move out of the country with their entire loot. Even after the gold is stolen by some equally intelligent thieves, the same is unearthed without breaking a sweat by the thieves. While they are at it, they constantly keep harping on some ill-placed and worst yet realized human emotions like camaraderie, brotherhood, loss, romance, and unrequited love.

Rio (Miguel Herrán) is coping with the loss of Tokyo and yet is chirpy enough to be part of a prank that the others are pulling on another team member. Denver (Jaime Lorente) is so frustrated with Stockholm (Esther Acebo) that he goes ahead and kisses Manila romantically and also accepts that he dreamed about him/her in some of his most private moments. This was something that made me cringe as the same Denver had very clearly mentioned in previous seasons that he couldn’t ever dream of looking at Manila in any other way than as a friend and compatriot as she used to be a man.

The worst handled out of all other story elements was the aspect that dealt with the Professor calling on the common men to stand in solidarity with them as they were the only resistance against a capitalist and autocratic regime. In the end, the Professor and his team leave Spain and settle down in Portugal stealing the entire reserve of Spain that will, in a real-world scenario, come down to haunt the country and its people. Thus, the people who stood in solidarity with the thieves were going to be the worst sufferers out of the entire predicament.

The makers try to make a hero out of the character of the Professor, and they fail miserably at it. The reasons for that are simple. The professor has not a single reason to justify the immense damage that he causes to the country; Not to mention the numerous lives that are lost for him to realize his dream heist. His father was a thief who was gunned down when he was trying to loot a bank that held people’s money. He became a thief to take revenge on the bank and many others like it and he succeeds but that doesn’t do any good for the common man nor does it change the fact that his father was a criminal and got what he deserved. It only services the selfish motives of a crook. How can such a man be an inspiring hero? At the end of it all, the professor wilfully declares that one day he would like to be a father of a thief too. If this is what a hero is then I pity the moral bankruptcy of the creators behind this series. 

The flashbacks involving Berlin (Pedro Alonso), his wife, and his son that were peppered all over the narrative were finally justified by adding it to the main story through a weak and forced plot element. The way it was done was too melodramatic and didn’t merit the kind of build-up that it was given. It must also be added that seeing Berlin as a constantly complaining and cry-baby lover who is cuckold by his wife for his own son was not the least bit amusing. In fact, it successfully deconstructed the self-sure and charismatic character that Berlin was, to begin with, and the one that I enjoyed initially.   

Shunning the least bit of realism and logic, Money Heist: Part 5 – Vol 2 does whatever it needs to somehow its story and it feels as the makers were making up the story as they progressed with the shooting. The once likable characters are turned into despicable crooks who we want to see punished. The subtle strategy and detailed planning of the Professor are replaced by strokes of luck and bolt from the blue twists that feel too far-fetched to be even envisioned. Add to that the lack of strong opposition and the meek surrender of whatever was the opposition, and you have a series that has come far away from all that made it the raging hit that it turned out to be. 

People will eventually see through the deficiencies of this series and it is only a matter of time before they start calling it for what it is. An obnoxious attempt at shoving down political agendas and messaging camouflaged as a heist series that isn’t even that anymore.

Rating: 2/5 (2 out of 5 Stars)

Also read: Review: ‘Drushyam 2’ is just as good as its Malayalam original

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