“Heist” follows former criminals as they describe the crimes that landed them in jail. The series features three different stories with three different ex-criminals – each having two-part episodes.
The first former criminal would be Heather Tallchief and her time with Roberto Solis. The couple ended up stealing millions of dollars from an armored truck that was carrying cash to casinos.
The two-part episode presents a light tone to a serious crime committed by an ordinary person. Viewers don’t experience the sadness that usually accompanies real crime shows. It’s like the audience is having a conversation with the people on the screen.
The show’s relatable and conversational approach of the show almost makes you feel sympathy for the criminals and the crimes they have committed. In fact, I found myself laughing at various points in Tallchief talking about his crime. She talks about her crime like it’s that glamorous thing.
Every time Tallchief described something, it was like I was listening to a friend. I found myself nodding as if she was speaking specifically to me. Whenever you talk to your friend, you tend to be sympathetic to what they say. With Tallchief’s outspoken way of speaking, it makes you feel like you’re listening to a friend from college.
The bright lighting that draped Tallchief added to the light energy of the story. Rather than having him in a dark room with a dark light covering half of his face, Tallchief is lit up. It’s almost as if she is speaking from the privacy of her home or a well-lit studio.
Unlike many other real crime programs, “Heist” did not rely on dark, poignant imagery to tell the story. With Tallchief’s story, we’ve seen her as a grandmother in reenactments and hear her talking like it’s one of the best moments of her time. We do not see dramatizations of crime, but rather glorifications of crime.
What makes Tallchief’s story similar to other real-life crime programs is the way it’s formatted. Usually we hear a basic summary of the crime at the start – it basically works like the series hook. Next, we talk about what led to the crime, then the crime itself, and what happens until the crime is solved.
Many people close to Tallchief were part of the two-part episode, including her father, brother and son – whom she had with Solis. Interestingly enough, Tallchief was also part of the show – via an actress. This actress recited all of Tallchief’s words as if they were her own, so it was a surprise when she turned out not to be the real Tallchief.
Tallchief was revealed at the end, but his face was blurry and his voice may have been distorted. Usually, we don’t see the real person in any capacity when they request anonymity.
When the real Tallchief was revealed with her blurry face and distorted voice, she didn’t want Solis to find out about her. Besides being a crime story, it’s a love story gone bad. The whole point of being in disguise and using an actress was hiding from Solis.
The light approach of “Heist” allows the audience to forget about the difficult subject. With the brilliant lightning bolts and comedic storytelling, audiences can easily lose sight of Tallchief’s crime with Solis. It’s easy to lose sight of how Solis manipulated Tallchief into obeying his orders.
Netflix’s “Heist” stands out from the saturated real-crime documentary market with its comedic timing and brilliant cinematography.