TV show review | Lupin

Note : 4 sur 5.

Lupin is TV inspired by the work of Maurice Leblanc’s Arsène Lupin, Gentleman Burglar. We follow Assane Diop (Omar Sy), a man willing to avenge his father’s death by stealing one of Marie Antoinette’s necklaces in the Louvres. Of course, even if he is a perfect genius and gentleman, things don’t go the right way… Or maybe it does?

I have to admit, I am positively surprised by this TV show. Not that I usually don’t like French TV show – I don’t, to be perfectly honest with you – but also because I am not the hugest thrillers fan out there. Sure, I’ve watched Sherlock and Criminal Minds, but I think that’s pretty much all when it comes to mystery shows. I wanted to watch this one because Omar Sy is one of my favourite actors and might be, to me, one of the best French actors out there.

Of course, because we all know how people are, there was a huge polemic when he got cast for the main role of this show because « Arsène Lupin can’t be black », which is a bit stupid when you know 1) he is a fictional character, 2) yes, there was black people in France in this era, 3) Who cares anyway, since the show does not evolve around Arsène Lupin at the beginning of the 20 century, but around Assane Diop in 2020. But I think it is very interesting this deeply racist polemic emerged because racism is indeed one of the themes of the show. Not the major one, this being Assane’s revenge, but it’s definitely a minor one. If you read between the lines, it might even be a highly important one, it’s just not put under the spotlights.

Even though there are only 5 episodes out so far, the second part of the show being scheduled for later in the year, I think it was a thrilling start. Some elements of the plot were definitely predictable, but the main and side stories are well built and strongly led by this amazing casting. Nevertheless, I think you can notice on some scenes that they ran out of time to direct the actors the proper way because it’s not Omar Sy’s best role to me. He is amazing, don’t get me wrong, but not as much as I would have expected him to be.

Of course, I loved the settings of the show, because I love Paris. It is rare to see something taking place in the Louvres and I think they’ve done an amazing job taking advantage of every bit of the space they had. Yes, I did snort when this peculiar car VFX happens at the beginning of the first episode, but apart from that, the photography really is beautiful in this one. Dark and using contrasts as a visual key, it sets a mood for the whole show and really put me into the story.

If you haven’t watched it yet and want to discover a great french TV show, I highly recommend you try this one. Assane is a character very closed to Arsène Lupin himself (who is kind of a french, criminal Sherlock, which is amazing when you think about it), the plot is great and the settings amazing. You sure will fall in love with Omar Sy’s acting in this one, but also with all the cast and characters. The first part is available on Netflix!


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