From the bitter quest of the Queen of Longtrellis, to two mysterious sisters who provoke the passion of a king, to the King of Highhills obsessed with a giant Flea, these tales are inspired by the fairytales by Giambattista Basile.
The film serves as Garrone's English-language debut and will interweave three separate story strands bookended by brief bits in which Italians Alba Rohrwacher and Massimo Ceccherini will play a street circus family. In one tale Salma Hayek will play a jealous queen who forfeits her husband's life. In another, Vincent Cassel plays a king whose passion is stoked by two mysterious sisters.Written by
Someone was really confused on what he wanted to achieve
I have to say that my main interest in the movie wasn't that of looking for entertainment: I expected it to be more of an insightful media translation of the 16-17th century "Lo cunto de li cunti" (ancient neapolitan for "Tale of tales") that is recognized as the first published attempt in history to provide entertainment for children.
So I didn't expect to find anything remotely modern or entertaining in the story itself, but still expected to get to learn something solid about the history of fantasy and the different influences this old book still have in our days.
Unfortunately I had better look for a good history book on the topic instead, since the 2 hours of the film have been quite boring and sometimes even painful.
Although the photography and the scenic design are quite nice the rest is a failed double attempt: being modern and remain faithful to the story. The first objective could have been perhaps more accomplished by cutting the film at 1 half of its running time while instead we are dragged through long pointless sequences of fake character development and 1600-interesting conversations that yield completely nothing (except maybe - but I'm just guessing here - remaining literally faithful to the least accomplished sequences of the book).
I would have liked more a focus on the "tale" common patterns we can still meet and love nowadays and less of an exegesis that tries to not look like one expecting to entertain in some miraculous way with centuries old material.
I'm really sorry I spent my money and my time on this: a pity especially since I think that all the people involved worked well. Unfortunately either someone leading the project had apparently no clue about the objectives of the work (or had no clue on how to accomplish them) or he though it was a good idea to create a movie literal transposition of a book no one reads anymore for entertainment and no one - except historians - likely ever will.
To close: I don't know how long is the book but if you're interested you probably can read a translation faster than watching this movie and you would get the same idea without missing anything relevant. Furthermore: there is some sex and some violence that - while I am not sure are completely faithful to the book - might be too much for very young children.
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