Melodramatic love story with a thrilling historic setting
Philippe Torreton gives us a correct Mazarin, even at the clumsy moments. Beautiful Alessandra Martines, who one learns through IMDb that had been married to C. Lelouche and is a cousin of C. Bruni, is fine.
The king as well as Marie Mancini are natural in their simpleminded characters. The baddies are fine, specially the Retz Cardinal. Condé - ex duc d'Enghien is my favourite character, thou gets little screen time. Gaston d'Orléans is also fine.
What makes this TV movie (!) stand apart is of course the castles, clothing, music, and the general view it gives of a whole epoch one thinks one knows better than we really do. The budget limits only show at the riots, where basically less than say 30 actors just aren't enough. And "the people" are basically the baker and the fat guy who makes marionettes. If you have imagination, it's fine, but if you are of those who want to "see" history, it just doesn't deliver. I deem the 1st part better than the other, riddled with 2 parallel love stories, Cardinal's and the King. Before we see him in full blossom, showing what a bright "Machiavel" is capable of doing when surrounded with the classical enemies, both foreign and domestic. At that, it's almost a lesson in "International relationships", in an epoch not so distant from our own. Good for refreshing, or better, learning European history! If you like History, watch it.
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