Arsenio Lupine, the white-collar thief, is a literary archetype only comparable to the British detective Sherlock Holmes and whose fame has made him an icon of French culture. To the delight of his followers, the character has managed to transcend his time, origin and his own author, Maurice Leblanc.
More than 100 years later since its inception, the Lupine series has recovered the myth to inspire a new generation and its protagonist: Assane Diop. It is about an experienced thief who will settle accounts with a powerful patriarch who framed his father.
The interpreter Omar Sy imbues charisma, bearing and the appropriate ranks to the character in each circumstance. The photography pleases the viewing, while the dizzying pace of the story is enough to hold the viewer’s attention. However, it requires our credulity so that the trick does not lose its magic.
During its 10 episodes, the series uses constant plot twists, but these suffer from two problems. The first is that they seem like short-term symptoms in a race against the clock whose goal is to entertain above all else. In that sense at least, the show hands down, even if it does miss a moment to suffer or enjoy the ramifications alongside the characters.
The second problem is that the suspension of disbelief does not give much to a viewer who pays attention to the plot holes, an excessively convenient script and loose ends that the writers leave in the way so that the story comes out. Consequently, the supposed ingenuity becomes artificial, implausible and loses legitimacy.
This is how the Lupine series is closer to Now you see me than to Sherlock. It does not make us complicit in the trick until it reaches the third act and it does not always sustain the illusion, but Assane Diop’s crusade manages to compromise us. Now that the two parts of the show have ended, it remains to be expected that the protagonist has life beyond his rivalry with his nemesis Hubert Pellegrini.
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