Money Heist buff? Let’s give a desi spin
What is it about Spanish drama La Casa de Papel or Money Heist in English that has gripped India? We’ve had our share of some great movies and serialized shows that have implacably left their mark, so no feeling of deprivation or of being shortchanged, there. We’ve always been suckers for drama, action, romance, emotion, and sure enough, we’ve regularly been fed barrels of it. But, Money Heist, ah! It’s got to be a little more than this, no?
Global streaming platform Netflix’s most watched non-English series, the show has English subtitles as well as an English dubbed version to cater to viewers across the world. Its recently released fourth season, which took the drama around a Salvador Dali-masked gang a notch up, was ranked highly in Netflix’s US top 5 most-watched titles, and a cliff-hanger has caught fans with curiosity for another season already.
It is the story of a rag tag bunch of people who get together and plan, what else, a heist. And at the end of 2 seasons, they plan one more. For four seasons, the series is engorged with jaw dropping action, enough adrenalin rush to fuel an army, suspenseful tension, and also, quirks, friendships, love affairs, ‘cheering for Cameroon’ moments, mouth-watering characters to crush on, get annoyed by, and super hate…. The smorgasbord is replete.
Sociologically and psychologically, we resonate with this series. It starts of being a regular day at office – an inevitable battle between good and bad. But the delicious irony is when the line gets smudged a little; when the good guys behave badly and the bad guys do the right things, in the right way.
Our favourite characters are infused with nobility, an innate sense of decency, loyalty, and human fallibility. And on the other side, a bit of sadism, deceit and perversion, helps blur the lines completely. The series is romantic and cathartic, and its over-surging popularity, a no-brainer.
We’ve consumed Money Heist and have been consumed by it; and what a welcome we’ve given them into our homes and into our lives.
There are enough memes and reviews and wish lists going around about how it should be remade in India and with whom. While a whole lot of actors themselves have expressed interest in playing key characters in a possible adaptation, film trade experts in the country are also tuned into the hype.
Film critic Taran Adarsh, who’s yet to watch the show but has it on his OTT watchlist, says it is being “highly recommended” to hi m by his industry friends. However, when asked talking about the feasibility of a desi adaptation, he says, “For any interpretation in our local language, it has to be done equally convincingly as the original content. And most importantly, it has to be Indianised for our tastes while keeping the core essence intact.”
“Why not?” asks trade expert Girish Johar when asked if an Indian take on the show, in the form of a feature film or series, would make sense. But he points out, “it should be done only after customising the script around the enigmatic character Professor and his gang’s plot to carry out the biggest robbery, and setting it in the country.”
However, Bollywood trade analyst Atul Mohan has a slightly different opinion. “See, the audience has already watched Money Heist, and while there are people saying it’s a great show, there is also a section of people calling it overrated”.
Besides, he adds, “In India, we have our Dhoom series, a big franchise which has been led by actors such as John Abraham, Hrithik Roshan and Aamir Khan, and the buzz about Dhoom 4 is so strong. We’ve already had various desi versions of the plot in Bollywood, with films such as Aankhen (2002), Special 26 (2013) and Happy New Year (2014), with some of the industry’s biggest stars leading the casts.
So, Mohan adds that Money Heist “should just be left out of an adaptation”.
It’s time for you, our readers and viewers, to join the party. If at all Money Heist is remade, who do you think, among our favourite actors, would make the cut?
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