New Netflix Unique Sequence From France With A Charismatic Main Man
Omar Sy as Assane Diop in Netflix ‘series’ Lupine’
Lupine, a new Netflix NFLX original series from France, was released on the streaming platform on January 8th. Lupine was produced by Gaumont Télévision and is inspired by the fictional character Arsène Lupine, the gentleman thief, master of disguise, which is very popular in France. Created by Maurice Leblanc in the early 1900s and gives it a contemporary twist.
Lupine, created by George Kay (Criminal, Killing Eve) in collaboration with François Uzan (Family Business), made the wise decision not to reinterpret Arsène Lupine in today’s Paris, but to let the fictional character influence its main character. In the five episodes of Part 1 released by Netflix, Lupine follows Assane Diop (played by Omar Sy), whose life as a teenager was turned upside down when his father died after being charged with a crime he didn’t had committed. Now, 25 years later, Assane is trying to avenge his father, drawing inspiration from the character of Arsène Lupine.
This is what makes Lupine such a fascinating series since the series mimics Maurice Leblanc’s work. Omar Sys’s charming charisma is to blame here too, as he captures this character perfectly. The series has received some negative reviews in France for its predictable plot, which is considered too formatted for a larger international audience. However, this is not so surprising considering how popular Arsène Lupine is in France.
Lupine has already reached # 1 in Netflix’s top 10 in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Holland and has made it into the top 10 in many other countries including the UK and Canada. This is a series that, in addition to its exciting story of thrilling robberies and revenge, will take viewers to the city of Paris.
Omar Sy as Assane Diop in front of Marie Antoinette’s necklace in ‘Lupine’ (Photo credit: Emmanuel … [+]
In fact, Lupine begins with pictures of the pyramid in front of the Louvre. The cleaning staff enter the museum for their night shift. Among them is Luis Perenna (Omar Sy). He pauses in front of the Mona Lisa while sweeping the floor, and then in front of the queen’s necklace about to be auctioned. It is the necklace that once belonged to Marie Antoinette and that he is interested in.
Luis Perenna – an anagram of Arsene Lupine as we will find out later – is actually Assane Diop. Obsessed with Maurice Leblanc’s Arsène Lupine, given to him by his father before his death, Assane uses Lupin’s tricks to commit his own assault. Fortunately, his ex-wife Claire (Ludivine Seignier) and his teenage son Raoul (Etan Simon) do not know what Assane really does professionally and only notice his constant unexplained absence.
As the first episode shows, Assane has a story with Marie Antoinette’s necklace and its owners, the Pelligrini family. When Assane was a teenager, his father worked for the Pelligrinis. However, one day he was accused of stealing the chain and thrown in jail. Assane’s father was later found dead in his prison cell. It was believed that he killed himself out of shame. With the tricks he learned from Leblanc’s book, Assane will try to prove his father’s innocence.
Etan Simon, Ludivine Seignier and Omar Sy in ‘Lupine’ (Photo credit: Emmanuel Guimier / Netflix)
Some of the twists and turns in the first episode seem a little obvious, but as the series progresses, Lupine reveals a lot more than a story of cleverly thought-out robberies led by a charismatic thief with seductive powers.
Arsène Lupine has been adapted for the screen several times since the early years of cinema history. The very first adaptation was during the silent era in 1909, Le voleur mondain, directed by Georges Fagot and starring Max Linder. The latest adaptation in France was directed by Jean-Paul Salomé and played Romain Duris and Kristin Scott Thomas in 2004.
What sets Lupine apart from all of these earlier adaptations is that it brings this well-known story of the gentleman thief into today’s society and highlights the persistence of racial prejudice – precisely why Assane’s father was so easily accused and found guilty of a crime having committed not committed.
Lupine is an excellent series full of twists and turns made in the spirit of Maurice Leblanc’s story. Hopefully it won’t be long before Part 2 of Netflix is released.