Netflix’s latest crime drama, “Berlin,” is a prequel to the global phenomenon “Money Heist.” It delves into the vivid and chaotic life of Andrés de Fonollosa, better known as Berlin, before his tragic demise in the Spanish Royal Mint heist. The first season takes us on a thrilling ride through Europe as Berlin masterminds the audacious theft of jewels worth 44 million euros from a prestigious Parisian auction house.
Charismatic Chaos at the Helm
The show’s undeniable highlight is Pedro Alonso’s captivating performance as Berlin. He effortlessly embodies the character’s flamboyant hedonism, volatile temper, and underlying vulnerability. Berlin’s every scene crackles with an electric energy that makes him impossible to ignore.
Beyond the Bling: A Heist Built on Emotions
While the heist is undeniably complex and thrilling, “Berlin” is more than just a crime caper. It’s a profoundly character-driven drama that explores themes of love, loss, and the complexities of family. Berlin’s relationships with his son Rafael, his ex-wife Tatiana, and his newfound love interest, Keila, add emotional depth and nuance to the narrative.
A Visually Stunning Tour de Force
The series is also a visual treat. Each location is meticulously recreated, from the opulent auction house to the gritty Parisian underworld, to transport viewers into Berlin’s world. The heist sequences are masterfully executed, blending suspense with stylish action.
A Worthy Prequel, But Can it Stand on Its Own?
While “Berlin” is a thrilling and enjoyable watch, it’s important to note that it’s not simply a rehash of “Money Heist.” The show takes its creative direction, focusing on a different heist and exploring Berlin’s backstory in greater detail. However, some of the character dynamics and references might feel that those unfamiliar with the original series need help.
Overall, “Berlin” is a compelling and stylish crime drama that will satisfy fans of the original series and newcomers alike. Pedro Alonso’s magnetic performance as Berlin is the heart and soul of the show, and the heist sequences are both thrilling and visually stunning. While the series may not reach the same heights as “Money Heist,” it’s a worthy prequel that offers a fresh perspective on one of television’s most iconic villains.
Here are some additional thoughts on “Berlin” Season 1:
The supporting cast is strong, with Michelle Jenner and Tristán Ulloa delivering memorable performances as Berlin’s accomplices.
The series raises interesting questions about morality and the nature of good and evil.
The ending of the season leaves things open for a potential second season, which could explore Berlin’s later years and eventual demise.
Whether you’re a die-hard “Money Heist” fan or simply looking for a thrilling and stylish crime drama, “Berlin” is worth checking out.