Jaume Balagueró instills a celebratory spirit in the Spanish-English bilingual heist movie ‘The Vault.’ Although the formula is quite a standard fare, the fast-paced cerebral narrative is as sumptuous as it is delightful. Liam Cunningham’s Walter Moreland runs a salvaging company, which is actually the front for a covert treasure hunt under the Atlantic. After years of patience, Walter hits gold, but the historical artifact apparently belongs to Spain due to its relational history to the region.
Spain takes the act as modern-day piracy and the artifact goes into the titular vault. Walter embarks upon a quest to decode the impenetrable vault with his motley crew and freshly-graduate genius Thom. The heist of the movie is acted out in the backdrop of a fuzzy football-addled Spain as the national team makes their way to the World Cup finals. However, the story makes you ask if any of this is actually true. Maybe you are asking if such an impossible heist really took place in history. Well, let us find out!
Is The Vault Based on A True Story?
No, ‘The Vault’ is not based on a true story. But the titular vault of the story stands on a palpable weighing scale. Jaume Balagueró directed the movie from a script penned by a voluminous team of screenwriters comprising Rowan Athale, Michel Gaztambide, Borja Glez, Santaolalla, Andres Koppel, and Rafa Martínez. With films like ‘REC’ and ‘The Nameless’ in the bag, the director has already made his presence felt in the genre of horror drama, but the director asserts that no specific genre confines him.
When asked about his sudden leap from horror to thriller, he reminded the interviewer of having directed a musical documentary, ‘OT: la película,’ and another project titled ‘Sleep Tight,’ which is still in the process of development. The director felt excited by the whole package – the premise, the world cup context, and the sheer energy – and he felt the urge to make the movie. But he also wanted the movie to stand apart from other movies in the genre, and the historical premise and quirky characters in the movie speak for themselves. According to Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey, who delivers a commendable performance in the role of Lorraine, what finally sets the movie apart are its humane passions and memorable characters.
The historical premise of the movie harks back to the fabled treasure of Sir Francis Drake, the intrigue of which rings true to popular history. English naval explorer, politician, and circumnavigator Sir Francis indeed raided Spain on quite a few occasions, starting from his 1572 attack at the township of Nombre de Dios. Near Lima, Peru, Drake and his army raided a Spanish vessel loaded with gold, and following that, he discovered another ship, Nuestra Señora de la Concepción. The other ship contained even more gold. The ship that Walter is after in the movie can be any of them. According to rumors, Drake ended up in California with his massive bounty, but fortunately enough, much of the treasure is still a myth.
The fail-safe flooding mechanism of the titular vault of the movie is also real. The Bank of Spain indeed has such a vault, which is also a major tourist attraction in the city. Moreover, the mechanism of the vault also inspired the acclaimed heist drama series ‘Money Heist.’ And the euphoria around the carnival of football in Spain is also all too real. Ultimately, the movie’s ending coincides with the FIFA World Cup final of 2010, when Spain comes toe-to-toe with the Netherlands.
Such an ending mars some surprises since we already know that things would spin out of control, but the extra time would give them a few more moments to catch their breath. It does not veer off the destined path, but the celebratory tone keeps the tale alive. In the end, the protagonists are almost caught, but Iniesta scores the much-awaited goal, earning Spain the world cup and Walter his treasure. Therefore, no such heists made the newspaper headline following Spain’s final victory at the World Cup. And yet, the movie stands on quite firm grounds.
Read More: Where to Stream The Vault?