Starring Salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel, and Toby Jones, TALE OF TALES (2015) is an exquisite gothic masterpiece that pans out like a dramatic theatrical play. Directed by Matteo Garrone, Tale of Tales is exactly what it promises.
A tale of three intertwined Baroque-inspired fairytales, it features a story about a king who doesn’t acknowledge that his daughter is growing up; a mother who refuses for her son to defy her; and two sisters who yearn to be forever youthful.
This fairytale of fairytales may sound remarkably average but it is more than just a narrative that offer fables with deep messages. Breathing life into the fantastical setting, Garrone’s vision and directorial approach is confidently bold.
From majestic castles to eerie magical forests, Garrone conjures a getaway that instantly teleports the audience on an adventure beyond one’s imagination. With the accompaniment of intricate props, delicate costumes and a cast brimming with talent and class, Garrone has no doubt utilised this freedom of creativity to the film’s full potential.
In Tale of Tales, Garrone is not afraid to show a bit of grotesque gore nor is he afraid to demonstrate a bit of nudity. For a film with minimal script, the camera is always on the move, enabling Garrone to showcase every detail in the spotlight.
Whether it is to boast the film’s stunning visuals or the broad range of human emotions such as fragility and lust, this is a fantasy world in which you will need to see in order to believe it. Like a true fantastical nightmare, a string of intertwined events unfold one after another in heart-racing fashion. From one fable to the next, this storytelling technique keeps the audience intrigued right to the very end.
Overall: For those interested in indie films of the gothic-fantasy genre, we enthusiastically recommend film-goers to take on TALE OF TALES in their own time. With a mix of the real and surreal, this luscious gothic spectacle can be sometimes viciously brutal and somewhat mesmerising at the same time. A must watch!