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
Charmingly bleak compilation of twisted fairy tales.
This is not your average princess and prince tales, it is a series of the grim version of myths without warm Disney filter. The multiple stories are woven together in one underlying tragic theme, occasionally wicked Tale of Tales is definitely not for children. The most vexing thing about it is not the scandalous tale, but the slow pacing as it tries to deliver three nearly horror stories.
The focus continuously shifts between monarchs from three separate kingdoms. Each of them is affected by equally peculiar plaguing events. One queen's over protective nature rules over her senses, a king's lust leads to mishap in bed and a princess' wedding becomes malady as she faces an ogre as the groom.
Its screenplay is mixed feeling of innocence remnant and utter perversion. There's a good quality of cast to ensure overall bizarre atmosphere, and make no mistake, these stories can be downright disturbing for some. The director even adds a couple gore scenes or rather appalling instances which are shockingly unexpected, even more so considering the colorful setting.
Visual is very good, the medieval vibe simply oozes from the scenery. It resembles a lively stage for dramatic play yet feels convincingly dreadful enough. Production, from make-up and costume, looks captivating and sometimes intimidating. As many TV series or movies adapt modernization of fairy tales, this one is more memorable with the eccentric outlook and more modest on CGI usage.
However, it can be a bit slow. The three stories span across more than two hours, so it takes its time. Fortunately, it sets the characters really well, but on the flip side, some of scenes feel plodding. Tales of Tales might resemble the iconic Pan's Labyrinth at some turns, although it's still not on such legendary stature.
This movie is certainly not for everyone. The mixture of odd fables and near horror elements leave strange lasting trail, it might not be all merry party yet it's enigmatically and irresistibly bewitching.
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