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Lupin(2021): Netflix review.

Rating: 9/10

A hooking spin on the classic Lupin tales.

Assane Diop is not an average black man. He is the modern embodiment of Arsène Lupin, a 19th century thief who carries all the satirical and savvy charisma we expect of a Byronic hero.

Omar Sy’s portrayal of Assane Diop does not let such Charisma drop in the least. Rather, he intertwines a sense of humanity and ‘goodness’ in this rich cat and mouse narrative. Despite the connotations of his muscular appearance, Assane is not “armed” with evil or danger, just an overwhelming sense of justice for his wronged father. Although such “do-good” characters can come off as cheesy and one-dimensional, Assane doesn’t emit this Superman vibe. He does not come across as a dangerous character, rather is so justified in his revenge that his “bad” activities make him a justified vigilante.

This series' exploration of race in a French context, one which is given less exposure in mainstream media, enriches the classic Lupin narrative, and is an apt adaptation of current “black fantasy” films. Somehow, George Kay’s construction of Assane’s character does not weaponise his blackness as being the cause of his ‘illegal conducts’.

I’ve seen other interpretations of the Lupin character, namely the animated movie The Castle of Cagliostro which takes a comical and creative spin on the Lupin the Third character. Where this one differs, I think, is the blended interpolation of such a character into a modern context.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of this new series and am excited for the next five episodes!

You can watch and stream Lupin(2021) via Netflix.

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