The plot of Netflix’s Kaleidoscope is unquestionably juicy—a small crew of crooks aim to steal $7 billion in unsecured bonds using a Category 4 cyclone as cover. However, the way the tale is presented is arguably more captivating. The miniseries by Eric Garcia is made so that viewers can watch the episodes in any sequence. Kaleidoscope differs from most thriller series in the way it is presented, providing a special adventure that is more than just a heist plot.
The show’s biggest secrets, whose characters strike you as sympathetic or malevolent, and whether particular beats serve as setup or reward will all depend on whatever path or episode you choose.
Ideally, that is the case. It also functions well, at least in the sense that it is actually possible to follow what happens regardless of how it develops. But whether it truly improves the story is a different matter, and the answer to that question isn’t particularly motivating.
Based on our viewing, Kaleidoscope appears to be a polished but uninteresting two-hour film that was blown out into a disorganised six-hour episodic tale. Its unconventional structure’s principal benefit is that it makes some of its component parts appear more unique than they actually are. Apart from the ‘watch it in any order’ hype, the series has a subpar plot that gets more monotonous as you continue watching more episodes.
However, despite its obvious drawbacks, Eric Garcia, the creator, deserves praise for his ambition alone. Only a few programs, including his, have attempted to innovate the Netflix format in genuinely new ways.
In Kaleidoscope, famed ‘villain’ actor Giancarlo Esposito plays criminal mastermind Leo Pap, who organizes a team to steal $7 billion in bearer bonds. The gang consists of safe cracker Bob (Jai Courtney), his wife Judy (Rosaline Elbay), who is an expert in chemicals and explosives, Stan (Peter Mark Kendall), the smuggler and procurement specialist, RJ (Jordan Mendoza), the driver, and lawyer/weapons specialist Ava (Paz Vega).
The seven episodes tell a compelling story that takes place over a period of 25 years, including the betrayal, the events in jail, the absurd plot, and the build-up to the grand conclusion, which is laced with various action-packed scenes. The final episode lives up to the anticipation with shocking turns that keep you transfixed. The series’ distinctive colour scheme makes a clear connection between the highs and lows of life.
Final Verdict: 3 stars (out of 5)