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Money Heist Spin off: Berlin Series Review


Berlin Series Review Poster

La Casa De Papel or Money Heist was the Picasso of Heist series with a powerful cast, sky-high stakes, and a plot with more twists than a DNA strand. Berlin on the other hand is a series that softens the psychopathic image of the enigmatic heist player in Money Heist.


Make no mistake, Berlin in La Casa de Papel was a monster who raped, killed, and looted just because he could do it. But the Money Heist Spinoff Berlin series portrays his human side that is slightly empathetic, pathologically romantic, and mindful.


Plot of Berlin Series


Berlin opens with Pedro Alonso saying goodbye to his third wife, in true Bollywood style - it's raining when this happens and the mood is somber. This immediately cuts to Berlin figuratively AND literally stepping into a heist with his key players.


[Andrés de Fonollosa is the true name of the fictional character Berlin, played to perfection by Pedro Alonso in this mild heist series. But to stay true to the theme of this review we shall refer to our protagonist as the titular Berlin.]


Berlin series team

There's Keila, the electronics engineering wizard who is pathologically shy, Roi the misanthrope, Damian the genius absent-minded professor, and Bruce the point man who is good at everything in general.


Later on, Berlin introduces us to the unstable bombshell Cameron. So begins the grand heist that involves the theft of 44 Million euros worth of jewels. The cliched heist music is a bit too on the nose, but definitely not out of place in the first episode.


Berlin series team line up

The heist in itself is pretty simple by Money Heist standards, where Berlin's team tunnels into a Parisian vault to steal jewels. There is a Rick and Morty episode that echoes the same visuals as this series with a hand holding a red jewel.



The main antagonist in this series is Berlin's romanticism and foolhardiness. It is also necessary to make the plot interesting, else there would be nothing to make this heist really exciting. He falls for the wife of the mark whom they are targeting which becomes most of the plot as you continue watching.


Chez Vienot, Maison des Encheres — the biggest and most prestigious auction house in Paris

Damian represents the brains of the operation as the professor did in the Money Heist seasons. He also goes through issues with his wife but handles it way better than the impulsive and still-human Berlin.





Cinematography


The visuals in this series are beautiful although not as amazing as the ones in Money Heist. There is one particular scene where Berlin rejects Camille at first but then walks in to kiss her in a lift chamber with his approach shown from a mirror in the lift. This scene is particularly well done.


Berlin's team in the Paris auction house
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Apart from great shots of Paris, the vault, and the tunnel they take to reach the vault there is not much else to look forward to. I am not saying these are not great but, compared to La Casa de Papel it's not mind-blowing.



Cast and Characters


There are three characters that the plot revolves around with the rest of the characters having subplots that are not that interesting. There is Berlin, his love interest Camille played by Samantha Siqueiros, and Tristán Ulloa as Damián the professor.



While Berlin seems almost sane in this series, Damian is undergoing a lot of turmoil in his marital life. Camille plays a clueless, daydreaming, 1.5-dimensional wife of a wealthy man who is ready to be swept off her feet by Berlin.


I have to single out Begoña Vargas playing Cameron as she is beautiful and rugged both in real life and as her character. She could have been given a meatier role, but none of the characters in this series have a substantial role apart from being a background for Berlin's origin story.



Should You Watch It? Yes, if you like romance


If you have not watched Money Heist and are into romance, then go for it. If you have watched La Casa de Papel and don't mind a Heist series that is mediocre and has time to kill, then sure, you can watch it as well.


In case you are a hardcore fan of the Money Heist series or even Money Heist Korea, and love how layered they are then don't. Do not expect any plot twists, fantastic heist set-ups, or even complex characters.


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