Are we watching or not? Black Hearts, the new slap from Prime
Launching on Prime Video on February 3, the series Cœurs Noirs proves the great form of French fiction at the start of the year.
What is Black Heart ? French special forces deployed to Iraq on the eve of the Battle of Mosul in October 2016. The members of this Commando 45 have the mission to find and exfiltrate the daughter and grandson of an important French Emir of Daech who they have been captured and only cooperate with them on this condition.
After Sentinels aired on OCS last year (and taking place in Mali), black hearts is the news (which will be broadcast in a few months) co-produced by Prime Vidéo and France Télévisions. The challenge is to offer a real action series – a genre not very common on French television – while pursuing a real political purpose Faudawritten by Sophie Maurer, Thomas Rio, Duong Dang-Thai and Corinne Garfin, all directed by Ziad Doueiri (to whom we owe the excellent film slips on Arte, but also Black Baron and who have worked very successfully on it sleeper cell). On the casting side, it’s 5 stars with Nicolas Duvauchelle, Marie Dompnier, Nina Meurisse, Thierry Godard or even Moussa Masskri. Six episodes for this season 1 and dealing with the very difficult activities of these special forces but also daily in a country shaken by war and terrorism.
What a hit and what a result! We expected a veritable series of political actions, such as we have been observing abroad for years. We have it !! kind of a cross between Fauda etc 24, black hearts takes us with him and won’t let go until the end of the 6th episode. Unpredictable. Each episode contains its strong, powerful scene, on the ground as close as possible to Group 45, each time embarking on “last chance” missions, like on the eve of the Battle of Mosul, trapped in this underground; or even in this small village to free a hostage. If the series spares us scenes that are too bloody, it never forgets to keep us in apnea and trembling for this team to which we know that anything can happen. As in 24, the very strong political purpose (in the best of seasons) never forgets to encourage intense moments of pure action, maintaining a balance that could be a headache, but ultimately never is. But as we have seen transmissionthe series never forgets those long moments of surveillance, tracking down its “prey” before stepping in and “pouncing” on them.
Another strength of the series, its cast! Each actor is perfectly in his place and conveys the right emotion at the right time, whether Thierry Godard, Quentin Faure (The invisible) or, in particular, Nicolas Duvauchelle as commander of Group 25, which we think is ideal-typical, but which the war damaged so much that he’s “JackBauerise” for this first season. But the real success of this war series is creating two female characters so strong and powerful, on a par with the male characters and operating in the same register: Marie Dompnier and Nina Meurisse are the two great successes of this series. The writers also managed to make Farès a real threat without us ever really seeing him. But it’s worth highlighting the incredible presence Moussa Masskri (Zaid) weaving her web through the entire series to an incredible conclusion: ” We can talk now« !
Amidst this permanent (or quasi-permanent) horror, the series indulges in moments of emotional explosion, such as when Group 45 goes on a mission and begins to listen to Bachelet’s sublime song. She’s from somewhere else » ; or in episode 5, when the fate of one of the members of Group 45 is “hung”, left to their own devices with the incredible background ” Knock on the door to heaven leaving little doubt about the fate that awaits him. This game, brilliant with the music, brings moments of pure poetry to the series, brief but powerful.
Also to listen to: Sentinels (7×52 minutes – OCS) | The Law of Series No. 568 | VL Media (vl-media.fr)
We love less
How short! Only 6 episodes!? We would like to see more. If the whole thing is very coherent, the so-called side intrigues are suddenly only skimmed over when there is so much to say. If the 24 comparison forces the plot to have a sustained pace, the characters are so well built that we want to see more of them. Definitely more than we see here. Like the all-too-rare moments between Martin and his wife when we see him crack open the shell, or when he’s forced to break tragic news to her. These little seasons, fairly typical of French production, allow too little exploration of situations. At least not enough when you see the result…
But it’s a question of “look” because, given such a successful series, we’d rather appreciate the result than point out the flaws here and there. And we can’t wait for Prime to renew the series so as not to let us down at this end of the season.
On Prime since February 3, 2023