CRITICAL - After Charity Bazaar, Audrey Fleurot, Camille Lou and Julie de Bona find themselves in a romantic fresco. The scenario is not in the lace but feeds a great uninhibited spectacle.
Fiction in costumes, they have taken a liking to it. Three years after the event series Charity Bazaarproducer Iris Bucher brings together her three heroines again on TF1, Audrey Fleurot, Camille Lou and Julie de Bonain The Fighters . Another great epic fresco set in the early weeks of the First World War. In this summer of 1914, the trenches do not yet exist, the soldiers who died for France are piling up in a bloody war of movement. This less represented period of the Great War is not the only singularity of these eight episodes which explore 14-18 from the side of women.
“With the mobilization of the men on the front, their mothers, their wives, their daughters turned the country around, contributed to the war effort. However, no monument is dedicated to them. This series pays homage to them.” emphasizes Iris Bucher at Figaro. To stir up the layers of society, there is therefore Marguerite (Audrey Fleurot in an almost punk character), the prostitute who follows the army to Saint-Paulin, in the Vosges - officially to follow her clients, unofficially to find the trace of a loved one; Julie de Bona slips under the chasuble of Agnès, the mother superior of the convent transformed into a makeshift hospital. The distress of the injured discovering post-traumatic stress threatens his faith. Camille Lou portrays Suzanne, a Parisian nurse, wanted by the police. Newcomer, Sofia Essaidi lends her features to Caroline, the wife of an industrialist to whom her husband entrusts the management of a factory in crisis.
Harlequin Novel Archetypes
The eight intense episodes take place over twelve days. To reconstruct the fighting without anachronism, Iris Bucher worked with several historians, including Jean-Pierre Verney, the director of the Museum of the Great War in Meaux. The scale of the action scenes, the importance of the exterior sets represent an increased level of visual and technical ambition compared to the Charity Bazaar, behind closed doors in the beautiful districts of Paris. The numbers make you dizzy: 150 roles, 3,000 extras, 1,300 costumes including 600 uniforms, 200 liters of fake blood. Plane and boat sequences were shot in virtual reality.
Les Combattantes advances with such aplomb, such uninhibited momentum that we let ourselves be carried away despite ourselves.
The great spectacle is guaranteed even if the scenario, like the war surgery practiced by Suzanne, is not in the lace. Hidden son, falsified identity, perverse pimp, jealous younger brother, thwarted loves, thundering music... The Fighterswhich Netflix will broadcast internationally, digs the furrow of the Charity Bazaar, which used up the archetypes of the Harlequin novel. Iris Bucher does not claim otherwise: her saga is not a "historical fiction" but a good one "romantic story". It doesn't matter that some twists are remote-controlled, like the fried whiting eyes that Tom Leeb, military doctor, sends to Camille Lou, The Fighters advance with such aplomb, such uninhibited momentum that we let ourselves be carried away despite ourselves. The public present at the preview at the La Rochelle Fiction Festival was delighted.
Contrary to Charity Bazaar, particular care has been taken with secondary characters. Less Manichean heroes. Tchéky Karyo, Sandrine Bonnaire, Laurent Gerra - brilliant against the grain in the skin of an abbot standing up against the separation of Church and State - give depth. The score is more delicate for Florence Loiret-Caille and Yannick Choirat as brother and sister brothel keepers.
Like the American showrunner Ryan Murphy (American Horror Story), Iris Bucher is already thinking with her favorite actresses about a new part of her feminist anthology. This time, the Glorious Thirties would be in the sights.