Episode 1 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 4/5
How far would you go for success? And would you be willing to risk it all just to make it in the big-time? Snabba Cash is a 6 part series aiming to answer just that, balancing two entwined storylines from very different walks of life.
While a little slow at times and armed with some questionable shaky camera work early on, Snabba Cash is a well written descent into the grimy underbelly of finance, greed and criminal gangs.
These themes are captured through our two main protagonists whom we follow across the season. Leya is desperate for funding and finds herself scrapping to fight for her company’s survival. After an investment fails too come through, she finds herself resorting to more and more elaborate and questionable methods to secure funding and grow her business.
Contrasting her journey is wedding singer Salim. Although a singer by day, this is simply a front as he’s actually a professional hitman by night.
Mixed up in an intense gang rivalry, Salim works with Ravy, Nala and Osman for a lucrative slice of the proverbial drug-fueled pie. Going against them though is Dani and his men, with both groups wrestling for lucrative land. An intense shoot-out early on really paves way for the ensuing bloodshed and betrayal that follows.
Leya and Salim do inevitably find their paths crossing, which begins toward the end of the first episode. Together, they begin questioning what they’re doing, while struggling to stay afloat in a sea of endless stress and anxiety.
All of this drama builds up to a tense finale that closes out most of the plot threads while leaving enough on the table for a possible follow-up. Given what’s here, it’s hard not to see a future for this gritty crime drama.
What really helps this stand out though is the wildcard character of the season – a teenage boy called Tim. Through his eyes we see the personification of youth getting wrapped up in the gang world, and the consequences and horrors that can come from that. There’s some particularly difficult and tense moments here, especially late on, when Tim is stuck with seemingly no way out.
These pockets of character development really help give Snabba Cash some depth but these flashes of brilliance are unfortunately few and far between.
After a relatively subdued opening half though, Snabba Cash suddenly cranks up the tension and excitement, delivering two excellent episodes to close out this season. It’s here the big themes of the show – and our two parallels stories – collide together in devastating fashion.
There’s a lot of parallels here to Top Boy in the way this depicts the drug world and Snabba Cash is helped a lot by its camera work. The series utilizes a lot of handheld movements, with plenty of tracking shots following our characters. There are also an abundance close-up shots for our characters, helping to get up close and personal with our main players.
Of course, with any handheld movements like this there are inevitable moments of obfuscation. Specifically, the action sequences do end up difficult to watch, with the camera shaking and wobbling all over the place.
A few – including a chase sequences with Tim early on – are difficult to see in their entirety thanks to this very issue. These moments do thankfully subside late on, but during the opening few chapter you really do have to persevere with this.
Snabba Cash is helped a lot by its understated soundtrack, which relies heavily on minor string segments to really squeeze out the tension in every single scene.
There are several instances across this season that do an excellent job with this, including one in particular where our characters prepare for a delivery. The entire build-up between the gangs, and the ensuing car ride to the drop-off point, is incredibly tense. Almost all of this can be pinned on the sound design.
If you can go in with some patience and take to the filming style, Snabba Cash opens up in the best possible way. The later chapters are dripping in adrenaline and tension, with episode 5 in particular delivering a thrilling 45 minutes.
While the show is unlikely to ascend to the heights of something like Gangs of London or Top Boy, there are enough parallels here to make it worth a watch if you enjoyed those shows. Regardless of a second season renewal, Snabba Cash is a pacey, palpable thriller that grabs you by the scruff of the neck and never lets up.