Kaleidoscope is an American drama television series created by Eric Garcia. The series premiered on January 1, 2023 on Netflix. The first season consists of eight episodes.
What is the movie about.
The action of the film takes place in the Big Apple, recognized by right as one of the most criminal cities in the world. And now, under the leadership of an overexperienced thief named Leo (formerly Ray Vernon), the robbery of the century is again planned here. The reason, at first glance, is banal: the desire to teach a lesson to three rich people who have profited from money laundering by selling securities. And here’s the luck – the “triplets”, as they are known in certain circles, were going to sell in the shortest possible time a large number of bonds worth seven billion US dollars. How can Ray miss such a chance? A chance to change your life for the better once and for all, starting from scratch.
No sooner said than done. However, for such a large-scale action, accomplices are needed – and not just auxiliary workers, but the best of the best, professionals in their field. So Leo shares his brilliant plan to get rich with future members of his team. These are: Ava, a lawyer by training, who has repeatedly circumvented the law by selling stolen goods and buying weapons; petty thief Stan, who is closely interested in botany, smuggling forbidden plants and exotic animals (Leo’s former cellmate); “bear cub” Bob, not burdened with intellect, who believes: whoever is strong is right; Bob’s wife, Judy, whose vocation is the study of chemicals, for their subsequent use or sale; young, slightly strange RJ, whose vocation is mechanics and extreme driving.
It would seem that what can prevent our heroes from realizing their plans? There is a plan, a leader who can explain the nuances of the case is available, skills are honed. But here’s the trouble: you will not have to rob a standard bank, but a super-secure vault stuffed not so much with money and jewelry as with high technologies with a limited access level, through which even a mouse cannot sneak. This is exactly how the owner of the “cyber piggy bank”, Roger Salas, speaks about his know-how security system. He is absolutely sure that it is impossible to hack the system created by his computer geniuses, which he never ceases to proudly declare to the main contributors.
Our desperate group is opposed by the entire New York police force, led by FBI agent Nazan Abassi, who considers it a matter of honor to return the criminals to where they belong – to prison. The condemnation of the actions of the main characters by agent Nazan is so great that she is easily ready to forget her own mistakes: a few years ago, due to drug use, she only lost the right to raise her own son, but also almost lost her favorite job. As often happens, personal sins are less visible for others, forgiveness of another person is not even considered, an attempt to understand the origins of his actions is not undertaken …
The day of the robbery has come and everything seems to be on the side of our desperate daredevils: both time and circumstances. Even nature supports their aspirations, sending a powerful element to help: heavy rain and hurricane wind. Under their cover, the heroes freely reach their destination, confident in a favorable outcome. However, everything went wrong, despite the fact that the actions of the participants were coordinated and all the nuances were taken into account. In addition, the heroes had support from within: Leo’s daughter, Hannah, and her half-sister, entered the game without warning. It’s all the fault of banal human weaknesses: greed, pride. In the penultimate episodes, it is clearly seen that these major human vices have led some of the heroes to a tragic end.
The influence of the past on the film’s event line.
Not the last role in the film is played by the close ties of the characters that arose many years ago and had a direct impact on their actions in the present. And if you think that the main reason for the most high-profile robbery planned by the main characters of the story is enrichment, then I’m afraid to disappoint you: their motives are much deeper.
Let’s start with Ray and Roger: twenty-odd years of friendship, backed up by fruitful cooperation, namely, robberies of moneybags, as a result, did not stand the test of time when Roger (in the past, Graham Davis) faced a choice: either his freedom or a friend. For years, these two inveterate scammers lived off the sale of stolen valuables, although, it is worth mentioning, each of them was engaged in theft for different reasons: Ray did his best to improve the existence of his loved ones, his wife Lily and seven-year-old daughter Hannah, Roger spent the loot on pleasure, women , considering such a lifestyle as the most acceptable for themselves. As a result, having once again planned a large-scale robbery of expensive jewelry during an auction at a prestigious tennis club, Roger sets up a bosom friend, getting away with it and sending Ray to prison for almost twenty years.
The years of the penal colony did not benefit Ray, undermining his health, separating him from his child. He was ashamed in front of his daughter: for the death of his wife, who died during a fire in the club, for cowardice because of which he could not meet with Hannah, he reproached himself for trusting his former friend. Having escaped from prison, he comes to his daughter and sees next to her Roger, who has become a successful entrepreneur, with a huge house and a happy family. It is difficult for Ray to accept such injustice, and he decides to take revenge, not only sending the traitor to serve a prison sentence, but also forever tarnishing his false, perfectly built reputation. And now, after seven years of waiting, fate gives him such an opportunity. The robbery of the most secure safe in the United States is his last attempt to become a hero in the eyes of an already adult daughter and restore the order of being.
Philosophical subtext of history.
At first glance, the series seems a little awkward: the events are scattered, the time frame is blurred. Like a stained-glass window broken into many colored fragments, where the viewer is faced with a difficult task – to collect all the parts of the film project into one whole, to create in his head a picture of what is happening on the screen in such a way that it sparkles with all sorts of shades and, most importantly, answers the question: why all this?
The meaning of the film project
The series resembles a collection of film projects already familiar to the viewer, created at a different time or even in other countries: Ocean’s 11 (2011, dir. Steven Soderbergh), Focus (2015, dir. Glen Filari, John Requa ), “Lupin” (TV series 2021, dir. Louis Leterrier, Hugo Gelin, Ludovic Bernard). These are stories of similar ingenious robberies and betrayals, but the storylines in them have a different algorithm: events line up along a certain storyline: a robbery plan, a gathering of accomplices, the robbery itself, and its consequences for the participants. In the same order, the events are presented to the audience for viewing.
The meaning of the film project “Kaleidoscope” is to show a familiar action story from different angles, viewing the series in any order, you will not miss important details. This is a puzzle from which you can assemble several different pictures, in this case, learn about the lives of several people, their plans, hopes for the future, even create your own script for a finished film. It all depends on your imagination…
The end of the series may seem unexpected, but it is quite understandable. Ray Vernon, who went through losses, the sadness of separations, imprisonment, found the strength to forgive his enemy, realizing that life punished Graham more than anyone. Revenge is over and he decides to return the necklace stolen many years ago, from which, in fact, all his troubles began …