A magnificent and terrifying "fairy tale" based on the works of Basile. The film follows three different and nightmarish haunting narratives and they are intercut so perfectly. Garrone's baroque direction is also reminiscent of Fellini' "Satyricon" but "Tales" definitely stands out well without much comparison. And my god, the artistic direction and score are beautiful. I'm in awe of this film.
Three fairy tales where “fairy” doesn’t mean cute and cuddly. Bloody and cruel, essentially horror stories, just like the fairy tales were before they were domesticated in the 20th century. That’s the best thing in “Tale of Tales”. Yet it’s somehow tame, perhaps because it looks so polished and mainstream. Great acting, visually impressive etc. etc. but it lacks roughness to make it special.
Fairy and folk tales often tell about human obsessions: for beauty, for power, for love... The three Basile's tales used in this film have obsession as their core. The film is gorgeously shot and the cast is excellent. Garrone has created an atmosphere that truly captures what fairy tales really are: bare and simple, enchanting and horrifying, disturbingly cruel.
Really wanted to dislike this film, including while I was watching it, but it somehow won me over, though it's flawed. Loved the locations, and the twists and turns in the Princess/Flea story. Also this must be one of a handful of proper kings-and-monsters fantasy films to come out of my country, so kudos for that. And I appreciate that Garrone specifically chose to adapt female-centred folktales.