Kaleidoscope, review: Netflix’s innovative, non-linear crime drama is a perfect puzzle

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Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito stars as gang leader Leo Pap, while Brit thesp Rufus Sewell plays his target, the ruthless security mogul Roger Salas. We gradually learn that these foes have a personal feud. For Leo, this isn’t just about the money. He’s also hiding a poignant health condition. His motley crew includes fence Ava (Paz Vega), inside woman Hannah (Tati Gabrielle), demolitions specialist Judy (Rosaline Elbay), combustible safe-cracker Bob (Jai Courtney) and fixer Stan (Peter Mark Kendall). These latter three are embroiled in a love triangle and are frequent scene-stealers.

Created by novelist Eric Garcia and exec-produced by Ridley Scott, the series wears its cinematic influences on its sleeve. There’s a dash of Ocean’s 11 here, some Tarantino script flourishes there, plus a spot of hi-tech Mission Impossible gadgetry for good measure. A prison episode recalls The Shawshank Redemption, riffing on silver fox Esposito’s vague resemblance to Morgan Freeman. 

The loveable-rogues-robbing-rich-villains plot is pure Robin Hood. Slo-mo flashbacks and whizzy graphics illustrate how phases of the heist were executed. The script flits from literary references (Dickens and Dumas both feature) to soppy family drama to bursts of violent action. As Ava says: “Success is 90 per cent preparation, 10 per cent ammunition.”

Stylish, suspenseful and cleverly executed, Kaleidoscope gathers binge-worthy momentum as it barrels towards its climactic showdown. The nifty format enhances its air of mystery and intrigue. A satisfyingly immersive puzzle to hunker down with and unravel on winter nights. Maybe that blow to the head did some good after all. 

Source: telegraph.co.uk