Once Civil War was declared, the military allied itself with the wealthy upper class in order to eliminate the opposition. The resulting chaos led to the demise of countless parents that left an entire generation of children to grow up without a family. It is within this context that Dominique meets Mateo, quickly followed by Big Max and Kevin, who attaches himself to the newly-formed trio. Together, these four soldiers must deal with this war that has taken everything away from them, including their youth. When their regiment halts for a little R&R, their friendship becomes increasingly stronger and slowly builds towards recapturing the lost feeling of belonging to a family. Comfortably settled in their cabin or nonchalantly dipping their feet in a pond, they have rediscovered the tranquility of the good old days, a tranquility that is about to get shattered with the arrival of Gabriel, a new recruit they will have to train.
Robert Morin’s latest project is a cinematic adaptation of Hubert Mingarelli’s successful novel “Quatre Soldats”. As usual, Morin tells a simple story without artifice, one that he infuses with his trademark sensibility. Morin has a unique way of directing his characters that renders them both credible and endearing, a trait to which this film is no exception. The superb chemistry that exists between the four friends is completely believable from beginning to end, making one want to be part of this tightly-knit group. Morin also has the knack for casting unknown talent, his sharp eye this time falling on Camille Mongeau. New to the business, she’s a true revelation whose charming personality completely pierces the screen. Antoine Bertrand, on the other hand, is a breath of fresh air in a production that could have easily felt a bit too long and heavy. LES 4 SOLDATS is much more accessible than what we’ve been seeing from Morin these last few years, closer to LE NEG or PAPA À LA CHASSE AUX LAGOPÈDES than PETIT POW! POW! NOËL.
LES 4 SOLDATS will move you with its cinematography and stunning mise-en-scène, just as it will surprise you with its sensitivity and uncompromising realism, proving once again that Robert Morin is without a doubt one of the best directors presently working in Quebec.
— Éric S. Boisvert