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HomeTechMoney Heist: Korea review: a promising, lively crossover

Money Heist: Korea review: a promising, lively crossover

Expectations have been sky-high for Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area, even earlier than its launch. The authentic Money Heist from Spain (La Casa de Papel) was considered one of Netflix’s most-watched sequence and later went on to win the International Emmy Award for Best Drama Series in 2018. This crossover with the seismic pressure of Korean content material — within the golden age that it’s in proper now — absolutely throws open the sheer scope of what Netflix can obtain with its ever-growing library of widespread franchises.

For essentially the most half, half 1 is a lively journey, helmed by a extremely succesful solid. The set design of the labyrinthian Unified Korea Mint deserves particular recognition for its versatility — filled with alternatives to disclose the stressed mechanisms of money-making or to hide the machinations of those that want its riches. Viewers of the unique Money Heist may also acknowledge acquainted narrative buildings bolstering the Korean remake: the achronological narrative, which each drives rigidity and withholds info, and the unreliable narrator, Tokyo, repeatedly shifting the sands of the story’s actuality.

Gaining the blessing of Money Heist creator Álex Pina for a Korean remake, Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area launched its first six episodes (half 1) on June twenty fourth. It is ready within the close to future, the place the present Joint Security Area between North and South Korea has been changed into a Joint Economic Area. An space of bitter division shortly turns into the shining image of unification, with the thrilling promise of recent enterprise alternatives and a shared forex — printed on the Unified Korea Mint.

However, a professor specializing in analysis on the financial impression of unification turns into more and more disillusioned by the exploitation of low-wage migrant employees and the widening hole between the haves and have-nots after unification. He then assembles a ragtag crew of eight thieves to conduct a heist of 4 trillion received on the Unified Korea Mint.

Each character from the primary ensemble feels equally able to innocence or evil, mercy or violence. Veteran actor Yoo Ji-tae, because the professor, dances between a righteous, Robinhood-like appeal and a penchant for chilly manipulation. Lost’s Kim Yunjin delicately balances the immense private strife that her character, senior inspector Seon Woo-jin, is dealing with and a high-stakes disaster negotiation amid the heist. Park Hae-soo (most not too long ago of Squid Game fame) performs the formidable Berlin, who believes in wielding energy by concern. Yet, privately, his unresolved trauma from surviving in North Korea’s notorious Gaecheon focus camp can shortly flip him into an anxious determine, breaking out in a chilly sweat. Jeon Jong-seo (Burning) performs a North Korean girl, Tokyo, who’s quietly attempting to piece again collectively her desires after affected by fraud and abuse as a migrant employee.

Relying on the power of its solid and glossy motion sequences, Money Heist: Korea appears extra sure about its means — get into the Mint, maintain individuals hostage (however don’t kill anybody!), print the cash, get out — than its ends. After establishing such a promising context and convincing universe, Money Heist: Korea generally seems like it’s imprisoned by its personal ambition and uncertain of the way to get out.

Arguably an important factor for any story to realize is to persuade the viewer to root for its protagonist(s) — nevertheless flawed they may be. We should develop to see the world from their perspective, really feel with them of their triumphs and defeats, and champion for his or her victory. However, as soon as we glance previous the appeal of its essential ensemble, one would possibly query: why ought to I root for this group of thieves who’re basically looking for private riches on the expense of hard-won reunification of the peninsula? (And not root for, maybe, the hungry, overworked hostages, who actually don’t have anything to do with all of this?) If we go by the endings of earlier seasons of the unique Money Heist, maybe that is a query that shall be answered when half 2 comes out (date nonetheless unannounced).

Some of essentially the most lauded Korean Netflix authentic sequence in recent times — like Kingdom, D.P., or Squid Game — have demonstrated that its action-packed reveals are immensely able to sharp, incisive social commentary. However, the commentary in Money Heist: Korea feels a bit extra blunted. It is definitely there, nevertheless it will get misplaced amid the bang and buzz of the hostage disaster within the Mint.

Money Heist: Korea.
Image: Jung Jaegu / Netflix

The strongest and most affordable motivation comes by Tokyo. Seeing her personal “Korean dream” shatter after leaving the North Korean military and migrating to the South, Tokyo drives dwelling a level in regards to the widening financial disparities led to by reunification and the plight of migrant employees. In the primary episode, she curses underneath her breath, “Welcome to capitalism.” The heist is her alternative for a breakthrough — and to reclaim many occasions over what she feels she has misplaced by the cruelties of such an financial system.

Some of the sequence’ finest sequences truly come within the first jiffy of every episode, the place the present opens with a glimpse of every character’s backstory. It helps to sketch every character’s journey in a extra nuanced method, provides gravity to their trigger, and permits us to know why they could have joined the professor’s heist within the first place.

Another vital commentary is made by the masks that the heist crew wears, that are modeled after the Korean hahoe masks. The hahoe masks, of their various shapes, kinds and expressions, historically signify the social standing of its characters. In the unique Money Heist, the Salvador Dali masks was used to precise resistance within the face of injustice, and the heist was a method of bringing monetary restoration to individuals who have been hit hardest by the merciless edges of capitalism.

With the heist crew’s adamant sense that what they’re doing is honorable and good, the six unreleased episodes that make up half 2 are left to reply: will the ends actually justify the means?

Part considered one of Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area is streaming now on Netflix.



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