Three tales subdivided in a few segments that don't fit quite well as a movie. It probably works better in book than film, but Garrone brought together some wonderful visuals that I have never seen before on screen.
Technically gorgeous film with amazing set design, costume and exquisite cinematography by Peter Suschitzky. Garrone's adaptation of fairy tales by Basile make for a debauched, grim(m), macabre and sensual experience. Sea monsters, albino twins, crones, giant fleas, ogres and a heart eating queen are just some of the bizarre elements within. Cast is more than game here with some wonderful characterizations within.
The secret to enjoying Garrone's three Neapolitan tales of desire and obsession is accepting the dead-pan seriousness: John C. Riley battles a giant sea monster in ridiculous deep-sea armor, Vincent Cassel's oversexed king fucks a hideous freak and Alba Rohrwacher's incredulous gypsy meets a hilariously vicious end. Made for under $15 million, you will also be hard-pressed to find anything this exquisitely crafted.
Visually stunning at times yet frustratingly empty at others. Could it have been crazier to get more Fellinian ? Or would that have made if even harder to digest like a Gilliam piece ? Hard to know, but yet the Peacock and Hills have eyes moments were fabulous amid a river of more or less fascinating storiettes.
What could have amounted to a gorgeous anthology of grim (fairy) tales set in far-away kingdoms with a stellar cast, ended up being a muddy and overwhelmingly dull web of story fragments with nothing being used to its full potential. Some great moments followed by some poor moments, over and over, for two hours. Disappointed, to say the least.
Tale of Tales is Garrone's raised middle finger to Disney Corporation - the film is about the evil consequences of power, idiocy, greed, and corruption. Hard not to appreciate an Italian director inviting Hollywood to go screw itself. The ultimate fairy tale.