A heist literally translates into “the act of stealing money”. Our entertainment industry has produced thousands of films related to robbery and crime. But the strangest thing lies in the fact that audiences end up falling in love with or empathize with ‘criminals’ or ‘lawbreakers’ whenever their backstory is accounted for. Take for instance Joker (from DC Universe), Brian ‘o’ Connor, and Dom (From Fast and the Furious franchise), and there are many others.
No, please don’t attach the obvious pull for adventure in movies like right that you’re drawn to it. Something deeper goes into it.
Money Heist is the latest example that suits best to defend my proposition. We have a bunch of criminals preparing for a heist and actually carrying it out successfully. In the process, we end up falling in love with each and every character. We also actually want the police to side with the robbers as the plot progresses.
Such is the intricate art of story-telling! We, humans, are inherent storytellers. But let me shout out, we humans are inherent story-consumers as well. As a kid, we’d sit anywhere, do anything for a story. As adults, we pursue the different Arts of storytelling available to us and try to derive purpose. Try to comprehend with our minds.
Money Heist: why we love criminals?
Moving on to the Spanish drama series, Money Heist, that took the world by storm, criminals double as the hero.
“Can acts of resistance be called a crime?”
The beginning of the plot takes the readers to a back story of how mastermind, ‘the professor’ (Alvaro Morte), shapes its team of “robbers” through people who have nothing to lose or is ready to lose everything.
We come to know the complicated Berlin (Pedro Alonso), the dynamite Tokyo (Ursula Corbero), the loyal duo Helsinki and Oslo (Darko Peric and Radko Dragic), the heartthrob Rio (Miguel Herran), the father-son Denver and Moscow ( Jaime Lorente and Paco Tous) and of course the fierce Nairobi (Alba Flores).
As the plot progresses through the seasons, we come to know why and how the professor had arranged a heist as a tribute to his dead father who died while trying to raise money for his treatment. Instantly the theory of ‘resistance’ comes into play and the audience wants the professor to be successful.
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Once again the fact is highlighted that a lot of crime originates from a lack of equality in society. When the professor divulges that they are not actually stealing anyone’s property by printing their own unmarked bills, this very concept again forces the audience to question the veracity of the definition of ‘crime’ as suggested by the mainstream law books.
Can acts of resistance be called a crime? Can wanting to live a comfortable life by printing own money be termed illegal? Isn’t taking the laws into one’s own hands the only solution when in our world the rich get richer and the poor get poorer?
Perhaps, the filmmaker wanted to initiate these underlying discourse once again. And it looks like, these plots never get old. No matter how many Fast and the Furious franchises arrive, and no matter how many Money Heists come, we’ll keep wanting for more.
It could be because breaking rules have always been human’s innate nature. We’ve been doing that since the beginning of time. It’s not a question of good or bad, it just highlights the parallel universe.
The answer to these questions is perhaps what makes the viewers attached to each and every robber in the heist. They have evolved into robbers so that they can reap the benefits of the privileged class. Can that be still considered a crime?
“Isn’t taking the laws into one’s own hands the only solution when in our world the rich get richer and the poor get poorer?”
In the end, Money Heist is a cast of very human characters with tragic flaws in some cases and that’s the exact reason we empathize with them, adore them, and want to see more of them. This was how the theatre worked since history (ref. greek dramas).
The background score of ‘Bella ciao” at many crucial junctures, add to the effect of our connection with the cast. The Italian song of resistance has a very edgy tune and magnetic allure that sticks to our mind’s playlist long after the show is watched.
It is not always a question of right or wrong and good or bad. Sometimes the act itself is the purpose. Us liking Money Heist also attests to the democratic-feeling we nurture as residents of free nations.
The socio-political background of Money Heist resonates with the common man to the deepest recesses. Perhaps that is why we even welcome the cop turned robber- Lisbon (Itziar Ituno) and the hostage turned robber- Stockholm (Esther Acebo) with overflowing emotions.
In the second heist also the show makers justify the heist against the unjust treatment of criminals adjudicated by many covert law protectors. The use of torture and manipulation to make ends meet is a practice of many legal institutions that go unnoticed.
“It is not always a question of right or wrong and good or bad. Sometimes the act itself is the purpose.”
Unconsciously, when the viewers want justice for Rio it is actually the public demand for justice for many on-trial criminals facing a similar fate.
To wind up, I am no moral police or crime supporter. I am an ardent lover of good cinematographic projects. When characters live their lives by making mistakes and learning from it, I feel inspired. I was bound to fall in love with the cast of money heist. I loved it all.
Let us know why you loved the cast of money heist in the comments below.
Unitil then, Bella Ciao!