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Sunday, April 21
The Indiana Daily Student

arts review

COLUMN: ‘Berlin’ explores a fresh perspective in the ‘Money Heist’ universe

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I was really excited to watch the new show "Berlin" which is a spinoff of the show "Money Heist." “Money Heist” became the most viewed non-English Netflix show in 2018. It is a Spanish show that has been translated in various languages to cater to its vast audience base.  

“Money Heist” successfully engaged a global audience by showcasing quick thinking, intricate plans and staying ahead of government officials throughout its storyline. Berlin, one of the lead characters in the original series, was characterized by narcissism and self-absorption. However, Berlin’s ultimate sacrifice at the show's conclusion demonstrated his desire to be the savior of the plan and be remembered as the hero. 

The spinoff began like any other heist story, with the introduction of the crew. However, true to Berlin’s grandiose style, the first episode deviated from the crew plotting the heist by showing a successful robbery. This was off brand from the original “Money Heist” series where the plan was executed in steps each episode, leading to the climax when the heist was successfully executed.  

Even though the robbery — in the Berlin spinoff — is in preparation for the final heist, the viewer experiences a rush of adrenaline in the first five minutes of the series. The audience is already on their feet due to the way the robbery is planned. 

“Money Heist” is a show that keeps its audience engaged with the mind-blowing wit of “Professor.” His absence in the spinoff storyline alters the dynamics and adds a layer of uncertainty. Unlike the meticulous planning that defined the heists in "Money Heist," the plot of "Berlin" unfolds haphazardly. The lack of ‘Professor’s’ comprehensive analysis of potential consequences influences the spontaneous changes throughout the spinoff that deviate from the usual precision associated with the crew's operations. 

Just like in the original “Money Heist” show, Berlin knew how to reach the pinnacle of his career, pulling off a successful heist. However, his plan to escape afterwards was ill-prepared and put the crew in jeopardy. Those who made it out alive did so due to luck and not by strategic planning, which was the whole concept of the original “Money Heist.” The whole escape sequence divides the crew into smaller groups without a plan on how to transport themselves with the jewels, and all of them ended in trouble.  

While acknowledging the occasional reliance on luck in the original series — as is required in any heist — it is essential to note the balance achieved through planning to anticipate and address potential setbacks. "Berlin" diverges from this formula, emphasizing unforeseen challenges resulting from insufficient planning. The show affirms the heist is planned by someone new and highlights the shortcomings Professor would consider while constructing a plan. 

The series also involves a huge element of love. Berlin falls in love with the wife of the man whom they are stealing from, pinning the evidence on him to make his love interest choose him. This central theme of love in "Berlin" adds emotional depth and complexity to the storyline. The show not only explores romantic entanglements within the crew but also concludes with Berlin ranking the importance of love higher than money, further emphasizing its thematic significance. 

After watching this, I can say this is a fresh perspective from the typical “Money Heist," which had been planned by the genius Professor and where the crew was guided by the Professor’s morals. It presents a different kind of heist with a different type of crew and definitely a fresh and captivating storyline.

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