Today: May 28, 2024

Tale of Tales

If adult fairytales rock your inner-child boat then director Matteo Garrone’s Tale of Tales is the one for you. Inspired by the fairytales of Italian folklorist Giambattista Basile, here we have three stories that revolves around a king (John C. Reilly) who must slay a sea monster to grant the bitter wish of his queen (Salma Hayek) who remains unfazed when the ‘Until the death do us part’ comes sooner than she expected. In a neighbouring kingdom, a flea is being baby-fathered to gigantic proportions by the King of Highhills (Toby Jones) and; in another, the inexhaustive, highly-sexed King of Strongcliff (Vincent Casell) unexpectedly falls for one of his many conquests, giving a new meaning to cougar dating.

Written by Edorado Albinati, you have all the elements of a fantastical story. There are the obligatory sorcerers, fairies, scary monsters, hideous ogres and the like, with a delicious topping of freaks, freakiness, blood and gore, and the ridiculous, all of which would make the Brothers Grim weep. If grotesque, fantastical, entertainment is what you are looking for, then this is it. However, if you are seeking a solid storyline, then it is best that you rub a genie in a bottle and make a wish.

This boils down to the main storyline, the weakest of the three fables– all of which are awkwardly cobbled together. By the end of the film, you may wish that it had made the cutting room floor, focusing on any of the two hilarious, well-written subplots. Despite the presence of Reily and Hayek, who excel in their roles, the promising start of the main story drags us into a predictable, dull tale dragged down further into the abyss by twin actors Christian and Jonah Lees with the acting skills of Pinocchio.

The film is further let down by the final scene which, of course, serves only to bring the three stories together but it is as uneventful as any kid’s fairytale with the well versed ‘.. and they lived happily ever after’.

However, that said, the film is certainly worth watching. Darkly comic, playful and mischievous, Tale Of Tales is magical and captivates you to the bitter end.

Marcia Degia - Publisher

Marcia Degia, who has worked in the media industry for more than 20 years, is the Publishing Editor of KOL Social Magazine. See website:

Previous Story

Out Of Sight

Next Story

Austrian Culture In London

Latest from Blog


Memory (2023)

Memory is an exquisite American drama in the tender embrace of Michel Franco’s cinematic prowess.

Abashiri Prison I-III

Constructed in the late nineteenth century to house political prisoners, Japan’s infamous Abashiri Prison served as the inspiration for a popular and prolific run of yakuza movies released between 1965 and 1972. In Abashiri Prison,

The Beach Boys

2024 sees the 50th anniversary of The Beach Boys’ chart-topping compilation album Endless Summer that threw the fading band back into the limelight. Whilst this double LP release was a big financial

The Valiant Ones

The Valiant Ones was King Hu’s last, great masterpiece. Indeed it’s arguably his last true wuxia film — but what a magnificent beast it is. Directed by the celebrated master of the

Enter the Clones of Bruce Unboxing

There have been so many books, documentaries, and even biopics of the immeasurably pioneering martial arts icon Bruce Lee. His life and work have been studied intensely, and his influence remains felt

BackBeat Unboxing

This month saw underrated Beatle-biopic BackBeat make its Blu-ray debut from Fabulous Films, surely delighting the band’s collectors and completists. Telling the story of the Beatles’ first bassist – the so-called ‘lost
Go toTop

Don't Miss


In a recent interview with The New York Times, Oppenheimer

Radiance Films Blu-ray Unboxings

There’s a new boutique label in town. Radiance Films promise