Álex Pina’s La Casa De Papel, also known as Money Heist, has been one of the most popular series in the world. The series got an official Korean remake, which created a lot of buzz among the fans. The expectations from the new series are sky-high. With the Hallyu wave (Korean Wave), South Korean shows have been receiving a lot of popularity over the past few years. Shows like Squid Game and All of Us Are Dead became very popular.
The Spanish version of the Money heist had some iconic characters with iconic names. This version has the same uniqueness in its characters with the same names and roles as the original show, but with different past live stories and personalities.
Yoo Ji Tae will be seen as The Professor, the brains of the heist, along with Park Hae-soo as Berlin, Jeon Jong Soo as Tokyo, Lee Hyun-woo as Rio, Lee Won-jong as Moscow, Kim Ji-hoon as Denver, Kim Ji-hoon as Denver, Lee Kyu-ho as Oslo and Kim Ji-hun as Helsinki. And some other characters like Kim Yun-jin as Seon Woo-jin, the negotiator, Kim Seung-oh as Cho Moo-hyuk, the special agent representing the North Korean Task Force, and Park Myoung-hoon as Jo Young-min, the arrogant director.
The six-episode series is a unique setting that is set in the year 2025 when South Korea and North Korea are ready to unify and are no longer at war. The Unified Korean Mint at the Joint Economic Area is targeted by a crew of thieves to pull a heist. Tokyo (Jeon Jong So) escapes North Korea and moves to South Korea becoming the first member of the crew following Berlin (Park Hae Soo), who escapes a North Korea Labour Camp after 25 years, and other characters follow after them.
Together they plan the biggest heist known in history.
With the vast popularity of Money Heist, it comes as a challenge to play the same characters in a fairly similar concept given that it’s been only a few months since the finale season of the original show aired. But the Korean version brings some cultural references to a more complicated and politically conflicted situation. Everything else remains the same from the names to even the looting amount (2.4 billion).
By including the Hohoe mask instead of the famous Dali mask, Money Heist Korea: Joint Economic Area makes some cultural references. Where the Dali Masks represented the expression of rejecting capitalist society, the Hahoe Mask is a traditional mask used during dance performances in Korea. Also, the inclusion of the political tension between North Korea and South Korea is a different aspect of the story as it showcases the history of the two countries.
Keeping in mind these similarities and some new elements, the Korean version could not bring in any remarkable moments. The plotline is very predictable as they mimic the twists and turns of the original show.
Apart from the plotline, the cast does a great job in acting and presenting the story. The characters have some unique backstories which fit well with the theme of the North Korean-South Korean political conflict. It manages to leave a mark on the audience, but for fans of the original show, it might be repetitive.
Money Heist Korea: The Joint Economic Area is now available on Netflix.