A master thief and his crew attempt an epic and elaborate heist worth $7 billion dollars – but betrayal, greed, and other threats undermine their plans.
Rotten Tomatoes: 50%
- “Violet” – 24 Years before the Heist
- “Green” – 7 Years before the Heist
- “Yellow” – 6 Weeks before the Heist
- “Orange” – 3 Weeks before the Heist
- “Blue” – 5 Days before the Heist
- “White” – The Heist
- “Red” – The Morning after the Heist
- “Pink” – 6 Months after the Heist
The series starts where we get to see Ray Vernon / Leo Pap (Giancarlo Esposito) and his friend Graham Davies / Roger Salas (Rufus Sewell). The two friends target people and loot their houses and essentials. Ray Vernon lives a happy life with his family, his wife Lily Vernon (Robinne Lee), and his daughter, Hannah Vernon / Hannah Kim (Tati Gabrielle). On other hand, Graham Davies is a loner.
One day Ray and Graham decide to retire from their life of thieves and burglars, but some incident makes Ray furious as he goes for a last big heist with his friend Graham, which is also a cause for his revenge against that firm.
But as their heist progresses, the events start to go against them as Ray and Graham start facing more and more problems. As they run against time, Graham lits fire in a curtain which later burns the entire building. As Ray and Graham run out of the building, Ray sees that her wife’s car is in the parking from which he realizes that his wife is also inside the building, who used to work in that firm, and got fired in the morning. As Ray runs back inside the building to find his wife, he sees her wife stuck below a shelf as the building is on fire and keeps on increasing. On the other side of the room, we see Graham, who could have saved Ray’s wife but does not as he runs to save himself from the police who arrive outside the building.
Later as Ray gets help from various rescue services and gets his wife to the hospital, we learn that Lily did not make it and has passed away. Ray is sitting with his daughter, Hannah in the waiting area. Then we see the police coming for Ray. Ray bids his goodbye to his little daughter and we see his lawyer, Ava Mercer (Paz Vega) comes to take Hannah to keep her safe.
From there we jump to the episode – “Green”, 14 years after the arrest of Leo Pap who breaks out of the prison and plans to destroy Graham Davies, now called Roger Salas who has made a really good life for himself, has a nice family and lives a lavish life. But the twist we get to see is that now Leo Pap is also diagnosed with Parkison’s disease.
Netflix created the hype of the show from some time. Not because of its cast or its story, but because of the watching order of the limited series. The show was introduced as a series where the viewer could start the series from any episode but the end outcome will remain the same. But as I watched the series, in the chronological order as I mentioned above. After watching the series and talking with a few people who watched in a different order, I will say that it is best to watch the series in chronological order as other people complain that they couldn’t grasp the events taking place in the show when they jumped right in the middle of the series.
The show takes a really interesting take with the color combinations as the color mentioned in each episode has an interesting role to play as the story progresses.
Although there have been better heist movies and shows, especially when Netflix’s own series, Money Heist has been a massive hit in the entire world. Compared to Money Heist, Kaleidoscope comes nowhere near the hype and plot of it, despite the effort Netflix put in when the show was in production. Still, Kaleidoscope manages to give its audience a good time while watching and enjoying the show.
The cast does a good job in playing their roles, especially the heist crew. But the stand-out performer in the show remains to be Giancarlo Esposito who nailed his role to perfection, and I think that is what we all expect from him, especially after his role in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, where he played the role of Gustavo Fring and became one of the best and most memorable antagonist the world has ever seen in the history of television and cinema.
Considering everything else that makes a show better, Kaleidoscope did good enough but somehow lacked the planning that takes place before a heist. The scenes of planning are there, but the way Money Heist did it with showing how Professor had every plan for everything is now a benchmark for heist shows and movies. The background soundtrack remains good throughout the series and no complaints regarding it from me. Now more will be discussed in the next sections given below.
If you want to watch a show or a movie with endless possibilities, Kaleidoscope is not the best one for it. The episode remains the same and even the events that occur in it are tangled together, so there is no way there could be endless outcomes in no matter which order you watch the series. Instead, I would recommend you to watch Black Mirror: Bandersnatch by Netflix, where you will have to options to select and have various possibilities to explore.
5 things I liked about Kaleidoscope:
As I mentioned, it’s not the perfect heist show or movie. We have all seen better heist shows and movies before, but it was good series and an entertaining one for the viewers. Here are 5 things I liked about the series.
- As I mentioned above, Giancarlo Esposito nailed his role to perfection. As his character goes through a rollercoaster journey throughout his life, Esposito makes sure to give his fans the spectacle we have seen him giving for more than a decade. The way he shows his character living a life of revenge from the very first episode to the time when we see him struggling with Parkinson’s, and despite that not letting any of his problems come in his way of getting what he wants was absolutely beautifully written character arc.
- The remaining characters of the heist were built really well and portrayed well enough to make the show interesting. Whether it was Ava Mercer (Paz Vega), Judy (Rosaline Elbay) and Bob Goodwin (Jai Courtney), Stan Loomis (Peter Mark Kendall), and RJ (Jordan Mendoza) did an outstanding job of getting their characters attached to the viewers. If an event occurs with these characters, the audience is able to relate to and feel whatever these characters were going through. RJ especially was good enough to connect the character and portrayed well by the actor as he hardly had any screen time and dialogues to contribute.
- Even after being expanded throughout a long timeline, the show is connected well enough to impact on all the events that occur throughout the timeline. Whether at the point when it starts from the episode ‘Violet’, or the end of the series with the episode ‘Pink’. Writers make sure to connect the entire series beautifully.
- Jai Courtney did a really good job while playing the role of Bob Goodwin. It is not easy to play the role of a character that is supposed to be disliked by everyone. If the actor is not giving up to the potential that is required by the series for the character. It is not an easy role to be played, but Jai Courtney plays it well enough to be hated by everyone who watches/watched the series.
- Even after having a serious tone in most of the series experience, the writers do not fail to entertain their viewers by bringing in some humor and also showing us why the particular crew member is ruled in for the heist and what importance they play in the events of the heist to be successful.
5 things I disliked about Kaleidoscope:
Kaleidoscope is not the best heist project out there. Money Heist leads in this arena, and on the other hand, Ocean’s movies have been really good in the heist. Considering all the events that occurred in the series, here are the things I disliked about Kaleidoscope.
- The watching order is not what Netflix was hyping the show about. Many people were confused when they switched in randomly from right in the middle of the series, as they hardly knew what the context of the series is and who the characters are. So it is much better to watch the series in chronological order rather than switching right in between the series.
- Kaleidoscope does not bring anything special or unique. We have all been watching such things throughout our journey of watching and experiencing the world of cinema, or even series. We can predict most of the outcomes while watching the series. And as someone who has watched Money Heist, which was completely unpredictable and kept on bringing something new with each season and episode, Kaleidoscope disappoints its viewers no matter how much hype they have created.
- The writers fail to use the talent and develop the character of Roger Salas played by Rufus Swell. I have watched Rufus Swell playing the role of John Smith in the series – The Man in the High Castle. In that series, he played his role to perfection and made viewers nervous whenever he was on screen as he played the main antagonist of the series. And since then, I saw that Rufus has been cast in this series, I hoped for this talent to be utilized much better.
And if you have not watched The Man in the High Castle yet, do check it out. It is one of my favorite series, which explores the possibilities where World War 2 was won by Germany and then we all lived in a world ruled by Germany and Japan. Although the series got canceled after 4 seasons, still it manages to give the viewers a really good time.
- Each and every episode of Kaleidoscope had a different writer and director which causes the series to have lots of consistency issues. This causes each and every episode to have a different tone from the previous one you watch. So the connectivity feels like a bit different as some episodes are emotional, some are serious, some are revengeful, and some show romantic tension between the crew members or even detectives.
- The last episode of the chronological order remains a bit of a disappointment for me. If Ray Vernon was conducting a heist and the risks were too much in the process, everyone who survived the heist should have been rewarded. Whether it was Stan and Judy, Ray and Ava along with her nanny should have distributed the money amongst each other rather than secretly giving it all to Hannah. Yes, I get that it was Hannah who suffered the most because of what happened since the episode ‘Violet’. But after 24 years, the money should have been distributed among the members who were alive rather than being selfish and just letting Hannah and her girlfriend have all the fun and luxuries with the money of the heist.