I grew up reading Arsene Lupin books, we had to read them in class when I was in elementary and after that, I just kept reading them. When the first season of Lupin arrived on Netflix, I watched everything in one sitting, I was at the edge of my seat and told everyone I knew to watch the show. I loved the series and was excited to see where it would go and what it would bring. I can confirm that the second part of Lupin is good, even better at times than the first part. It knows exactly what it wants to be, what it needs to be, and delivers on every promise it makes. Lupin is high-octane, fun but most importantly, sleek just like the man it takes its name from.
Lupin follows professional thief Assane Diop (Omar Sy), the only son of an immigrant from Senegal who had come to France to seek a better life for his child. But Assane’s father is framed for the theft of an expensive diamond necklace by his employer, the wealthy and powerful Hubert Pellegrini (Hervé Pierre), and hangs himself in his prison cell out of shame, leaving the teenage Assane an orphan. Twenty-five years later, inspired by a book about gentleman thief Arsène Lupin his father had given him on his birthday, Assane sets out to get revenge on the Pellegrini family, using his charisma and mastery of thievery, subterfuge, and disguise to expose Hubert’s crimes.
The strength of the show lays with its star. Omar Sy has been one of my favourite working actor ever since I saw him in Intouchables (The Intouchables in English). His work had been one that I followed quickly and Lupin is the perfect showcase of his talent. With Assane, he blends a perfect balance of charm with comedic quickness and a hint of hurt that brings so much detail to his character. Sy is quick on his feet, his timing always perfect and never faltering, which pairs itself perfect with his character, a man who always sees everything six steps in advance and never leaves anything to chances. Omar Sy brings a nuance to this show that no one else could, he makes Assane layered, always leaving a linger of sadness and hurt in his eyes even when his smile lights up the room. It’s a nuance that makes all of this feel real, feel like the show isn’t just about a thief.
Because that is the thing right, Lupin is about more then just a man doing impressive heists. This is a revenge story, a redemption story, it’s about a man trying to avenge the one person he loves the most. Yes, it’s hiding behind some impressive heists and trick scenes that leave you with your mouth hanging open, but all of these extravagant scenes are there for a reason. They are always a means to an end, and that is what makes Lupin special. By being nuanced and layered, the show provides for more then just entertainment. It creates a story that captivates you, creates a character that you root for. Yes, what Arsene does is against the law but you want him to succeed, you want him to bring Pellegrini down.
The first part of the show ended on a pretty big cliffhanger, and I won’t go into how it is all solved, but I will say the show wastes no time to hit the ground running. From the very first frame of the second part, the show goes 1000 miles per hour. It never slows down, always pushing towards its end goal, setting up by the end the already commissioned third part in a perfect way. The show has a clear goal, it never diverts from it, always manoeuvring towards it in a very defined way. There’s something fresh about it, by only being five episodes, the show doesn’t waste time, doesn’t have filler episodes. Everything is there for a reason, nothing in this show is left to chances. Every characters, every set piece, every details have a purpose and that is what makes this series special. Because even when you think you know what is happening, they pull the rug from under your feet and you find yourself staring at your television wondering how the hell you didn’t see it coming. It’s clever, and you can’t fault it for that.
With Lupin, Netflix has found themselves an international hit. A series that knows exactly what it wants and needs to be in order to succeed. Pairing that with the amazing Omar Sy and you find yourself with one of their best show. A show that deserves all the praise and attention it gets.
I, for one, will be sitting here, waiting for the third part with impatience.