La Casa de Papel (2017)

Day 27 : 28/07/2019

La Casa de Papel, Alex Pina

Just started watching this popular series, here is a couple points I want to remember in the future.

  • The Characters: After all, the success of a story always goes back to its characters. La Casa de Papel is full of original and multidimensional characters. Since it is a series and more story hours are allowed on camera, we get so see many different characters from opposite points of views which makes the story even like a documentary in that sense. We have the perspective the team (the burglars), the hostages and some of their private lives, the police and the intelligence services. Usually we are presented with the angle of a single standing point, which makes us empathize and root for their sides. If it’s a story about genius burglary, we want to see the intellect and the ability of the characters, be wowed by it and that’s it. But here, the situation is different. There are many characters whom we can root for, and who stand on opposite sides of the story.


  • The Character Dynamics and Facing the Antagonist: Here, the main characters have a genius plan too, it is entertaining to watch. What makes the story more dynamic is internal and unexpected. Their plan goes just as they plan, they can overpower the police and other forces pretty easily because they got prepared for it for months. What they did not prepare for is their dynamics between each other and what makes their whole plan progress with bumps is caused by their own actions towards themselves such as getting into a forbidden love affair or neglecting behaviors of hostages. Presented in the first ten minutes of the show, we know that each team member have strengths of their own in their own field – except the profesor, we don’t really know who he is – and that they are all divergent. We see that among themselves they can become each others antagonists and create tension: like the time Berlin asked Denver to kill a pregnant woman after Denver just helped her or the times the love affair between Tokyo and Rio put them in trouble.


  • Motive of the Characters: Throughout the series backstories of every character is revealed and we see that all of them has a motive to rob the bank, and that they have to as a salvation: Nairobi wants to get to her son, Moscow wants to give his son Denver a better life and so on. It is personal, then a group matter to them which creates many dynamic within the story – Nairobi says I won’t let anyone blow up this plan for example. They turn to each other as well as the police at times. It is also an answer to the question: why don’t they let go?


  • The Timing: The timing of shows is correlated to their success. This is the case with Breaking Bad (2005) ( a small, masterful artisan succeeding against the big powers, against industrial material with lower quality) as well as Casa de Papel (2017). After a decade of economic crisis in Europe, the protagonists of the show is attacking capitalism, playing Robin Hood in 2017. They are not attacking or hurting the innocent, they claim to get what should belong to the masses of people where the profesor explains it as: “You’ve been taught to see good and bad guys. But what we’re doing is okay to you when other people do it. In the year 2011, the European Central Bank made 171 billion Euros out of nowhere. Just like we’re doing. Only bigger. 185 billion in 2012. 145 billion Euros in 2013. Do you know where all that money went? To the banks. Directly from the factory to the pockets of the rich. Did anyone call the European Central bank a thief? No. “Liquidity injections”, they called it. And they pulled it out of nowhere, Raquel. Out of nowhere”.


  • References: From just a glare it is easy to see that the show got influenced by the Reservoir Dogs by Quentin Tarantino (in the case of random nicknames picked by a group of people who never knew each other before) and V for Vendetta by James McTeigue (the Dali masks).  Salvador Dali is an interesting choice for the masks they wear, probably because he is a painter who goes against the structure accepted in terms of art forms. Trojan Horse => I love the genius in it and that they reference history. Doubles the power of the move!


  • Color Palette: The red uniforms demonstrate boldness and courage to me, also signify a group of people who are not afraid to be right in front of the eyes, they don’t have to hide and sneak out – they are going to master their plans in front of everyone. Also, red contrasts with the theme color of the series, green, the color of calmness as well as cash 💸 .




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