Money Heist also known as “La Casa De Papel” (translated as The House of Paper) is a Spanish television heist crime drama series which was originally created by Álex Pina. The series was initially intended as a limited series to be told in two parts. It had its original run of 15 episodes on Spanish network Antena 3 from 2 May 2017 through 23 November 2017.
Netflix acquired the global streaming rights in late 2017. The producers re-cut the series into 22 shorter episodes and released them worldwide, beginning with the first part on 20 December 2017, followed by the second part on 6 April 2018. In April 2018, Netflix renewed the series with a significantly increased budget for 16 new episodes total. Part 3, with eight episodes, was released on 19 July 2019. Part 4, also with eight episodes, will be released on 3 April 2020 as of the time this post was published.
Money Heist Plot and Summary
The first two parts revolve around a long-prepared, multi-day assault on the Royal Mint of Spain in Madrid, in which a group of robbers take hostages as part of their plan to print and escape with €2.4 billion. It involves eight robbers, code-named after cities and led by the Professor (Álvaro Morte) from an external location. The story is primarily focused on one of the robbers, Tokyo (Úrsula Corberó),⁷ as they battle with hostages on the inside and the police on the outside. In the third part, the surviving robbers are forced out of hiding, and with the help of new members, they plan and perform an assault on the Bank of Spain.
The series was filmed in Madrid, Spain. Significant portions of part 3 were also filmed in Panama, Thailand and Florence, Italy. The narrative is told in a real-time-like fashion and relies on flashbacks, time-jumps, hidden character motivations and an unreliable narrator for complexity. The series subverts the heist genre by being told from the perspective of a woman (Tokyo) and having a strong Spaniard identity, where emotional dynamics offset the perfect strategic crime.
The series received critical acclaim for its sophisticated plot, interpersonal dramas, direction and for trying to innovate Spanish television. The Italian anti-fascist song “Bella ciao”, which plays multiple times throughout the series, became a summer hit across Europe in 2018. By 2018, the series was the most-watched non-English language series and one of the most-watched series overall on Netflix, with a particular resonance coming from viewers from Mediterranean Europe and the Latin world.
Notable Awards Won by Money Heist
Some of the notable Awards won by Money Heist include the following:
- International Emmy Award for Best Drama Series (2018).
- TVyNovelas Award Colombia to Favorite Series or Telenovela in an International TV Channel or International Digital Platform (2018).
- Fotogramas de Plata Audience Award for Best Spanish Series (2018)
- Bravo Otto in der Kategorie beste Serie (2019)