Lupine Part 2: the daring French series does not miss a beat

Lupine Part 2: the daring French series does not miss a beat

Lupine Part 2

The second tranche of episodes, from 11 June on Netflix, is like the first: harmless entertainment, light and not memorable, but very funny, frenetic and captivating

In recent times Netflix has dispensed its original series in installments, splitting in two - if not three - the seasons of productions such as Lucifer and Lupine, the unexpectedly successful French series that made its debut on the platform last January. Focused on the enterprising thief Assane Diop, a great admirer of the deeds of the gentleman thief in Maurice Leblanc's novels, it ended with a cliffhanger after only five episodes, leaving the viewer a little baffled. The second part has been on Netflix since June 11, and picks up exactly where the narrative left off, namely with the (alleged) kidnapping of the protagonist's teenage son. Lupine follows the adventures of an attractive man in his forties, of Senegalese origin and affable attitude who hides behind his harmless good-naturedness an implacable desire for revenge against the billionaire who led his beloved father to suicide when he was still young boy.

Lupine is a heist movie as much as a revenge movie told with the bright tones of comedy and very fast rhythms. One of the reasons for the dazzling success of this French production, in fact, is not to waste time: few preambles, almost no "filler" moments, Lupine practically immediately enters the action and from that moment the whole narrative is aimed at describing the machinations of the protagonist and his allies to force the cowardly Hubert Pellegrini to confess his misdeeds, specifically the crime of staging the theft of a precious necklace in his possession by placing the blame on Assane's innocent parent.

In the second part of the season, Assane's strategy and his "gentleman thief" style are now known to the spectator and in fact the remaining episodes offer no news, remaining faithful to the format that made Lupin's fortune : a captivating protagonist, Omar Sy, who manages to immerse himself in the role of the brilliant criminal as well as in those of the spotless hero, in those of the action star as much as in those of the sex symbol with the discreet and persuasive charm of the French suitor. We are not trying to force character and interpreter into stereotypes, Diop is a versatile figure inspired by the classic Lupine of literature but perfectly integrated in the contemporary world.

In the course of the unpublished episodes, Diop's plan to frame Hubert is always made richer in expedients dispensed at frenetic rhythms: sometimes some passages are lost either, omitted from the narrative or based on some intuition of Assane so subtle as to suggest that the brilliant criminal possesses the gift of clairvoyance. His allies are involved in his intrigues and more narrative space is granted to his friend Benjamin and to Guedira, the policeman who with Assane shares a fervent passion for the character of Lupine and his exploits. Of course, the latter is destined to cheer for the emulation of his hero rather than for the villain on duty and his minion, the conniving captain Gaugier.

Speaking of the villains, in Lupine he is as disconcerting as he is. antagonists are dull, two-dimensional and stupid compared to the "good" counterparts: there is no eccentric and diabolical villain able to stand up to the protagonist as Sherlock Holmes' Moriarty could be, there is no nemesis worthy of Diop able to create exciting dynamics and make the audience doubt the hero's success. Diop's victory is obvious right from the start, the beauty lies in enjoying the various steps of his strategy.

Finally, to conquer the viewer definitively also in this second part, is the packaging: the fascinating Diop is a perfect seducer (torn between the ex-partner and mother of his son Claire and the ex-flame Juliette, son of his archenemy) who moves against the backdrop of a city, Paris, always suggestive that gives charm to the effortless staging ; there are the views outside the capital, in the French countryside where breathless escapes and pursuits are consummated. Lupine is harmless, light and not at all memorable, but it gives the viewer what they could want from a carefree entertainment, and everything they could want from life as it should be: full of good food and good wine, breathtaking landscapes, of loyal friends, beautiful lovers and bad guys who receive the right punishment.

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