Monday, January 11, 2021

LUPIN on Netflix

When I was in 10th grade, we read Arsène Lupin in my Advanced French II class. I loved the stories because they were mysteries about a Gentleman Thief and Master of Disguise! Arsène Lupin by Maurice Leblanc originally appeared in a French magazine in 1905, and the stories were later collected into a book. You can read the original stories for free, as they are now in the public domain in the U.S. There were also several films made about the Gentleman Thief.

So, of course, I was thrilled to hear that Netflix would be producing Lupin. I finally started watching this past weekend, and I'm really enjoying this series. O.K. it's not based on the original stories, but is inspired by them and has such a great twist. I'm watching in French, and there are subtitles (or dubbing) for non-French speakers. Assane Diop sets out to avenge his father for an injustice inflicted by a wealthy family. Lupin, created by George Kay (Criminal, Killing Eve), in collaboration with François Uzan (Family Business), made the choice not to re-imagine Arsène Lupin in today’s Paris, but rather have its leading man be influenced by the fictional character. In the five episodes of Part 1 released by Netflix, Lupin follows Assane Diop (played by Omar Sy), whose life was turned upside down as a teenager when his father died after being accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Now, 25 years later, Assane tries to avenge his father, using the character of Arsène Lupin as his inspiration. And, if you love Paris (and are missing it right now), you'll experience the City of Lights through the vivid scenery. 

Part One of the first season aired on January 8, with Netflix dropping five episodes of about 50 minutes each. Netflix said today it would be bringing out Part two (5 episodes), wrapping up the events of season 1, some time soon. Word on the street (or on social media) is that they will drop sometime this winter or early spring.  Let's hope so. There's no word on Season 2 yet.

From Forbes:

Arsène Lupin has been adapted for the screen many times from the early years of cinema’s history. The very first adaptation was during the silent era in 1909, Le voleur mondain directed by Georges Fagot and starring Max Linder. The latest adaptation in France was directed by Jean-Paul Salomé and starred Romain Duris and Kristin Scott Thomas in 2004.

What makes Lupin different from all these prior adaptations is that it places this well-known story of the gentleman thief within today’s society, highlighting the persistence of racial prejudices—the very reason why Assane’s father was so easily accused and found guilty for a crime he did not commit.

1 comment:

Mary Monnin said...

I watched the first episode last night. Loved it! There is nothing more entertaining IMO than a classy thief. Your article was interesting. Now I want to read the stories myself.