Ever since Dark quenched my thirst for thrill, I have been a huge fan of German shows. Yes, the genre matters, but filmmakers from the country have usually been mindful of their art.
A new show, Kleo, has recently premiered on Netflix. It surrounds the theme of revenge and suspense but also promises to be a thriller.
Is it worthy of your time or not? Don’t follow my review blindfolded, but take the right cues to make the final decision.
Also Read: The Girl in the Mirror Review Netflix
Kleo Review Summary
Riding on Germany’s past and the conflict between the east and the west, Kleo stitches compelling mysteries to keep you hooked. However, a couple of things don’t go well for this German series streaming on Netflix.
Keep reading my Kleo review to see how things pan out for the show.
After she is betrayed by her own people, an East German elite assassin, Kleo, decides to take revenge by destroying those behind her indictment. However, in the process, she discovers several trails and mysteries about the assignment that led to her incapacitation in the first place.
Created by Hanno Hackfort, Bob Konrad, and Richard Kropf, Kleo stars Jella Haase (Kleo), Dimitrij Schaad (Sven), Julius Feldmeier (Thilo), Vladimir Burlakov (Andi), Vincent Redetzki (Uwe), Marta Sroka (Anja), Yun Huang (Min), and others.
What Works for Kleo?
At the core of this revenge drama lies suspense and the makers of Kleo manage to keep it intact till the end. The show never seems low on mysteries and follows them religiously. Thanks to the intricately linked storyline, you would stay hooked to Kleo for the most part.
Presentation (Especially of Flashbacks)
Everything was going per standard convention until a well-crafted flashback made me think and get further involved in the story. The presentation elevates the goodness of this show. Some of the scenes in the series are brilliantly pitched together, allowing the makers to rise from the ashes after a dull moment.
I have never heard German music because of obvious language barriers. But whenever I watch a German movie or show, I like the rhythm and beats of the melodies playing in the background. In Kleo, though most of the songs were terrific, the one that touched my heart was Beruhrung.
Music infuses the right vibes into every scene and enhances their emotional appeal.
The speed of narration in a suspenseful revenge drama is as necessary as a lemon in lemonade. Lose the flow, and you risk slipping the user into sleep. There has to be a consistent pace, and Kleo doesn’t disappoint.
In fact, it identifies itself on Netflix as a “fast-paced show.” The speed of Kleo holds you and allows you to return for the next episode. As a viewer, even if you can predict a particular thing in a show, you want to watch it materialize. However, this is only true when the pace stimulates you in consonance with your thought process.
Why would someone wait for eight episodes going at a snail’s speed? This is one thing Kleo succeeds in doing.
Jella Haase plays the titular character of Kleo in this Netflix series and mesmerizes you with a spectacular outing. The show might not be declared a blockbuster, but her performance as Kleo is sensationally legendary.
It demands a lot of grit to successfully play the supreme character around whom the entire story revolves. However, Jella Haase does it with profound comfort. Her expressions, dialogue delivery, and the uncanny traits she infuses into Kleo are mind-blowing. Specifically, her characteristic growls were hilarious.
Dimitrij Schaad is the heart of Kleo. He never succumbs to the dominance of Jella in the plot. Playing Sven, I can guarantee he will win you over with humor and insouciant expressions. The easy-going personality he brings to the screen is affable to the very end.
As Sven, he is a guy who’s incompetent in the eyes of the world, including his family members. But the zeal and ambition he has take him places. More and more accolades should come around for Dimitri Schaad for effortlessly delivering brilliance in Kleo.
Julius Feldmeier plays Thilo in this German series on Netflix. He is the strange guy you’d want to vanish, but when he disappears, you seek him back for entertainment.
Feldmeier shrewdly contains himself in the loud hue and cry of Kleo’s plot. There was no way I thought he would have any significance in the story, but I was proven wrong.
Vladimir Burlakov, as Andi, pushes the factor of rawness higher with his performance. You’d have several presumptions about his character, but the plot will turn things around completely. As for his outing, Burlakov takes complete control of the screen and commands attention even without being too conspicuous.
Vincent Redezki plays Uwe in Kleo. I found him more intense than ostentatious. Uwe loses his cool in no time and does whatever he feels is right.
Despite being subordinate in terms of physical prowess, Uwe never minds taking on big opponents. Redezki’s artistic temperament plays a huge role in shaping the countenance of a character like Uwe.
What Doesn’t Work for Kleo?
A spy, agent of the state, or a discreet assassin, we have seen many such stories unfold on the screen for years. Most of them carry the same twists, turns, and climaxes. When I began streaming Kleo, I wished it to be distinct in narration, at least. However, that doesn’t happen.
Kleo is like an old basketball re-pumped to play. Yes, there are new things and innovative aspects, but they are not enough for an 8-episode series. Honestly, the idea of a secret agent story hardly has any scope for variations.
Either you can base the plot on a discreet department or an individual’s life, and Kleo chose to be the latter because of it being a revenge drama.
Writing Could Have Been Crisper
The pace of Kleo is apt for a suspenseful story. However, at times, it is too straightforward that you can predict five minutes beforehand what is about to happen.
There are glaring loopholes that should have been filled properly. Moreover, the end required more detailing that didn’t seem to happen.
For the most part, Kleo is a well-made series, and you can watch it if you like the idea of on-screen revenge. However, some conceptual sluggishness and loopholes in the script make things a tad poor for the series.
Is Kleo a True Story?
No, Kleo is not based on any true story officially.