Por Nairobi: O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao ciao!
I should have had this post out last week but I decided to give you all more time to catch up. so I know I don’t need to be so loud but DISCLAIMER: SPOILERS BELOW.
It takes much more courage to be in love than it does for warHelsinki, Money Heist season 4 episode 5
As much as I have the words “Money Heist” plastered in the title, this show will always be La Casa De Papel to me. But more than that, season 4 proved to be one of those TV gems that remain in our hearts and minds and live on in the reactions they draw.
Game of Thrones used to be that, remember?
La Casa De Papel has many things; most of these are obvious to you as the viewer and the rest of them take a cinematically-trained mind to observe and admire, but regardless it is the coming together of all these things that defined a successful season.
LCDP features a wide expanse of distinctly different characters all pulled in together to do the unthinkable: in season 1 it was pull off a heist in the Royal Mint of Spain and in season 4 it’s the Bank of Spain; which as we all saw was as far away from a small feat as we could have imagined. One thing that LCDP has maintained from season 1 was a strong element of surprise; which despite us feeling like they would be alright in the end (thanks to Tokyo’s narration) worked well to drive us crazy in the meantime.
Season 4 completely flipped the switch as the ending would prove. I mean, it doesn’t mean they won’t be alright in the end, but this is the Bank of Spain and they’ve already done this before, so it doesn’t mean they will be either.
The characters are written so intelligently around the story; which transforms typical heist narratives into a brand new story altogether. Not to mention the diverse cast (in personality and in identity). I literally always say, put some minorities into clichéd stories and watch them turn into awards contenders.
This season saw the inclusion of way more female characters (with dialogue that wasn’t mostly entered around men and being in relationships and whatever it is men think women talk about) and way more LGBTQ+ representation; which wasn’t just ornamental. The identities of the characters also played well into the core of the story.
LCDP also boasted astounding cinematography and production design. The new scenery (the Bank, a switch from the Mint in season 2) was very transformative and immersive as a whole. The producers of the show did their research into the whole underwater vault of gold thing.
I personally loved those scenes, they were so cool.
And with this change in location came a sense of development in the characters (for better and worse). No-one would stick around to see Tokyo keep doing that b.s from back in season 2 when she played Russian roulette on Berlin. It also wouldn’t just be fun to watch the gang overcome every challenge just because they’ve done this before, like I said, there really was more at stake here and you could feel the tension.
The character development in Denver this season when it came to understanding Rio’s debilitating mental state following his torture and his old friend’s transition from Julio to Julia was handled with a good mix of sensitivity and light-hearted humour.
I mean, it was kind of insane when he went into the whole Maserati monologue and then told Rio to “get over” the fact that he was tortured, but like I said, character development.
I honestly just thought he would continue being annoying in this season but no, that would have been boring as well so they uh… switched it up a little.
So, the big baddies got bigger and badder and Alicia was definitely the boss level.
The strength in these female characters is unbelievable (American television could take some notes). Howwwwww is this woman pregnant (like, literally about to pop) and walking around ready to set fire to everything? The way her personal life is brought up in an effort to get her to back away from the case is handled with so much dignity as Alicia stands up and tells all the men in the tent to piss off because she’s not going anywhere. Because this is what women are, but more importantly, it’s imagery that women and young girls should see.
Now that doesn’t mean I don’t hate her ass, but I did love how she dragged Prieto and the whole government of Spain down with her.
Berlin was always an exceptional character and he’s one figure in a larger subset of things that make LCDP a successful show. Its male characters really are something else, for the most part.
I like the way they brought him back in the flashbacks; they’re not unbearable and thy’re not dragging around his dead body just because they love this character or actor or both. He feels relevant to this story still; he was so integral in building the plan, there’s that whole fiasco with his “wife”…
Like, where the hell is she, what does she know, is she about show up in season 5 ready to throw away their hardwork?
Berlin is a mystery and despite how much we’ve been able to see him since he died in season 2, he’s still a mystery.
What’s even more mysterious is the producers’ ability to juggle so much content, so many subplots, so many characters and still deliver a quality performance. On top of the careful and cohesive story-writing we have beautiful cinematography, music that works with the pictures, VISUALS, and an overall atmosphere that is altogether irresistible and envious and I absolutely cannot wait for season 5.
And, you should go watch that little video they made where they share with the audience the process behind LCDP’s fourth season; it’s really heartwarming.
So, one more time, before we wrap this up, Una mattina...
What did you think of La Casa De Papel? Let me know in the comments!