How good is La Casa de Papel

"House of Money": The perfect robbery

Imagine meeting a master thief. Not the usual bank robber, more like Danny Ocean in "Ocean's 11", who wants to rob the safe of a large casino in Las Vegas. And then multiply this person by 100. And hey presto, "The Professor" from "House of Money" (English: "Money Heist", in the original: "La Casa de Papel") is almost in front of you. A bank robbery, a casino - that doesn't interest the professor. In the truest sense of the word, he wants to raid the "House of Money", the Spanish banknote printing company, and print his own money without traceable numbers. He gets help from eight criminals with whom he wants to share the calculated booty of almost two and a half billion euros. However, a perfect plan rarely leads to perfect execution.

Berlin, Tokyo, Rio and Nairobi: more than just places

In the "House of Money" none of the robbers should know the identity of the others. In their months of preparation, the actors are given city names. Leading actress "Tokyo" (Úrsula Corberó) is stubborn and determined, knows how to handle a weapon - and would have risked almost the entire robbery because of a flirtation. "Nairobi" (Alba Flores) is the best woman forgering banknotes the globe has ever seen - but actually just wants her son back. And "Rio" (Miguel Herrán) has a terrible crush on an accomplice. All thieves, including the professor (Álvaro Morte), have their very own secrets that they would wish never to come to light. Only "Berlin" (Pedro Alonso) is freezing cold - inside and out. With his psychopathic-sadistic features he is in the "house of money" like the fuse that leads to dynamite.

While the eight robbers inside the banknote printing plant print money, hold the hostages in check and dig a way to freedom, the professor outside holds the reins. He gives the instructions from an abandoned hangar to his gangster gang, with whom he has planned the mission on a secluded finca down to the smallest detail. And only he communicates with the police, which he is always one step ahead of. Good planning is half the battle.

The police officer Raquel Murillo (Itziar Ituño) leads the operation, to which both the secret service and special units are called in. She does not do well, cannot leave her private problems at home and yet: If the strategist of the secret service assumes that she is "having her days right now", she exposes him in front of everyone present. Murillo doesn't put up with anything and trusts her instincts. This in turn leads her astray exactly once: When she confides in a stranger in a café, she has no idea that even that is part of the professor's perfidious and almost perfect plan.

"House of Money": Series robbery of billions

There are enough heist movies, but a series? In the meantime 22 episodes you can watch Tokyo, Rio, the professor and co. How they successfully complete the mission (or fail after all). In retrospect you can learn more about the protagonists, their life stories and their motivation to take part in the greatest heist in history. A psychogram is created for each robber, whose trademark is red overalls and Salvador Dalí masks, which the audience can see, one after another, spellbound.

It's surprising how often the actors in "House of Money" quote from films by Quentin Tarantino and his friends and yet create something of their own: a great series that could have been produced in Hollywood just like that. Good stories work all over the world - no matter which country they come from. "House of Money" is sexy and does not shy away from violence - and that is exactly what makes it exciting entertainment à la Tarantino in series.

"House of Money": Spain and the whole world

You don't recognize any internationally known actors in the series, but that doesn't matter. They all play their roles so convincingly that when they started broadcasting on the Netflix streaming service, they built up a huge and steadily growing fan base around the world. "La Casa de Papel" has so far been particularly popular in Spanish-speaking countries, Italy and Japan. "House of Money" is currently the most streamed non-English language series on the Netflix streaming service. Leading actor Álvaro Morte was overwhelmed by the popularity of the series at a Netflix event in Rome in April 2018: "Fans from Argentina have your face tattooed on their arm. That is unbelievable," said the professor's Spanish actor.

The first two seasons of the Spanish series were originally broadcast on the Ibian television channel "Antena 3", but are now available on Netflix. The third season will be a Netflix in-house production.