In 17th century France, cardinal Mazarin's death squad kills young Blanche's parents. She grows up to become a thief and steels a substance called Powder of the Devil and a coded letter that were sent to cardinal Mazarin. He is furious.
Antoine de Caunes
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This play may have been a hit several hundred years ago, but it now comes across as five hours (Oh? Was it not that long?) of much ado about very little. Titus loves Berenice, Antiochus loves her, she doesn't love him, Titus has to send her away from Rome , but doesn't want to, and so on, and on, and on.
It was not helped by having two aging French actors playing the leads. Poor old Jacques Weber as Antiochus was dull, as always, and overweight Gerard Depardieu, then in his mid-fifties, was hardly convincing as the 35-year old Titus. Even a relatively young and beautiful Berenice (actually the historical Berenice was 12 years older than Titus, that is, 47) could not save this turkey from drowning in its own flood of verbosity.
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