Tale of Tales full movie review - Tale of Tales
When, I first saw reviews and things such as posters and other advertisements promoting the new film, Tale of Tales, the first thing that immediately popped into my head (besi
des a general curiosity and interest in the film), was that it looked very much like what master filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini did in the 1970's when he made his Trilogy of Life which was film adaptations off of the literature works of The Decameron, The Canterbury Tales and The Arabian Nights. All three are well known pieces of literature and have all been around for quite some time now. All three original books are not just one source story as the basis, but rather a series of short stories, fables, or whatever you might call them that fit in one collection. The original novels all had a sense of playfulness to them as well as humour and also could be found moments and events that would classify them as anything but children's stories. Pasolini did a great job on all three films (although I would classify his version of The Canterbury Tales, as the weakest entry in the trilogy) and while not covering every story of The Decameron, or The Arabian Nights (it would have been impossible to do so as there are three volumes of The Arabian Nights and The Decameron is a pretty hefty book in itself as well), but what Pasolini did cover was exquisitely done with his attention to detail both capturing the exact time periods that the books take place as well as making everything so authentically true and realistic from sets, costumes, makeup and everything else. Everything was done naturally and there were no special effects whatsoever which really enhanced the historical accuracy of all three films. Also anyone who knows anything about Pasolini's body of work, knows that he had an interest in things that were often violent, or of more of a perverse nature (Salo, or The 120 Days of Sodom is an extreme example, but still an example nonetheless of this), and there were certainly elements of all of that in all three books which is why I think it intrigued him and led him to make feature film adaptations of them. The film adaptations as well, do not shy away from violence and also copious amounts of nudity and sexual content as well. I believe that both The Canterbury Tales as well as The Arabian Nights received X ratings when they were originally released. Still the films had a certain sense of intrigue, mystery and captured everything that I for one loved as fairy tales, or folklore as a child and added the more adult elements to these stories to add a certain other dimension to them to make them sometimes raunchy and risqué, but also a lot of fun and countlessly fascinating as well. Pasolini achieved this back in the 1970's and now with his version of Tale of Tales, Matteo Garrone achieves greatness doing the exact same thing, or very similar to what Pasolini did and I mean that as a sincere compliment. Here Garrone is capturing the 17th century writings of Giambattista Basile, and he covers just a handful of stories in this particular film, but what an absolutely wonderful array of stories that we have on display here. Stories that will capture the magic and wonder of the stories and tales we were told as children, but on the flip side have been added elements of violence, sexuality and nudity and basically things that are strictly for an adult audience and not for the young ones in the room. I am not here condoning violence, or nudity, but the film has a certain sense of freedom and creative liberty that it takes with these stories, which I for one found to be quite refreshing and adding a whole new take on a genre that needed some fresh blood into it. Thankfully the filmmaker here chooses to use special effects to an absolute minimum and focuses more on natural effects and costumes, makeup, sets and everything to give it a more natural and period piece authenticity such as the earlier films mentioned in this review. The film at times is so beautifully stylized and yet at other times it so brilliantly captures what is beautiful and then at other times things that are barbaric and brutal and they both balance out and compliment each other beautifully. The film has a certain sense of risqué and ribaldry such as the Pasolini films and doesn't shy away from being both fun and magical and also sometimes graphic, or violent either. The film is sure to be not for everyone's taste because of this, but I for one found myself feeling like a kid in a candy story with these wonderfully imaginative stories that not only entertained me, but also kept me in awe, suspense and sometimes shocked me because of how dark and yet fascinatingly grim and different they could be. This is a film with a whole bunch of talent both on screen and off and it all deserves the very best of accolades for it's wonderful job. A lot of fun from start to finish and the bold and adventurous movie goers will certainly be rewarded for giving this one a chance. One of this year's most creative and best films.