Money Heist: The Phenomenon – Netflix Documentary Review

Boom, Boom, Action!

One of the joys of finishing a good DVD came from slipping in that second disk and uncovering a whole slew of interesting special features. From Director interviews and commentary tracks across to eye-opening deleted scenes and featurettes, when done correctly these DVD extras can certainly heighten the film experience. In this age of streaming, Money Heist: The Phenomenon feels like an extended DVD featurette acting as an accompanying piece to season 4 of La Casa De Papel.

Beginning with an introduction to the series itself and the lowly ratings it received in Spain, Netflix picking up this series to add to its International catalogue gave this series a new lease on life. From here, the documentary breaks down the ingredients that make the crime thriller so endearing, with accompanying narration, snippets of shots from the series itself and interviews with the cast and crew helping to pad out the hour run-time.

What’s particularly interesting here though is hearing about the production woes and just how much trouble different set pieces gave the crew. Who knew dropping millions of euros from the sky would cause such headaches for the camera crew or even that massive crowds following production would pose its own set of logistical issues. It’s these moments, along with the cast answering questions honestly about the cost of fame, that serves as a fascinating topic to explore and make this compulsory viewing for any fan of the show.

It’s strongly advised not to jump into this before season 4 though, especially given this outright spoils a couple of big moments in the show. It’s much better to jump into this after finishing season 4 but ironically this does gives the special a somewhat bittersweet tone given the drop in quality this year. Still, the special itself serves its purpose and certainly whets the appetite for more to come in the future.

This sort of special is actually something Netflix could benefit from doing more of. There’s an under-valued quality to these specials that really help give an insight into how trying and difficult the filming process is for a show like this, and in particular how incredibly high the pressure must be to live up to fan expectation and deliver an exciting second heist. The fact it took the creators months to get back to an eager Netflix surrounding a third season only solidifies this.

Having said all that though, Money Heist: The Phenomenon is a celebratory documentary that looks at the wild global success of this show, doing so with a really quirky and fun-loving tone. Although at times a few of the character examinations undermine the problems with the latest series, there’s no denying that La Casa De Papel has been a worldwide success and part of that is thanks to the exposure platforms like Netflix have given this.

Streaming platforms are here to stay and perhaps on the back of this those aforementioned DVD extras may just find their home in this new age of digital watching.

 


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