I find knowing next to nothing about a film before watching it to be a rather enjoyable experience. No scenes have been ruined by trailers, narrative twists haven’t been spoiled by fan theories and the often repetitious promotion hasn’t been able to dampen excitement. ‘Tale of Tales’ was a film I knew nothing about, the only image I had seen promoting the film was the one featuring Salma Hayek tucking into a huge bloody heart. This alongside a quick synopsis online was enough to wet my appetite.
‘Tale of Tales’ has three main stories running throughout the film, within each of these there is great progression and development meaning that there is always plenty going on. However, one could be forgiven for having a different view of the start of the film. The narrative at first seems a little pointless, it doesn’t seem to be going in any real direction. This is at least how it feels to the audience. As I have already stated though the narrative does develop and it continuously unravels more and more elements within each of the three main stories. This is easily the strangest narrative that I was seen used in a film since last years ‘The Lobster’. Strange is in no way bad though, it’s quite the opposite actually. The eccentric nature of the narrative was so engrossing and you literally had no idea what was coming next, it legitimately could have been anything. There was a varied tone thanks to such a bonkers narrative meaning that sometimes scenes would be funny or touching whilst others could be really brutal or even a bit scary. This film certainly keeps its audiences on its toes and I loved it for that.
Accompanying the wonderfully off the wall story was a repeated musical theme by Alexandre Desplat which managed to find the balance between the unsettled tone of the film. Amongst all of the stories the audience are treated to here comes quite a big cast. With no out right main character the weight falls quite evenly to all involved. Toby Jones was one of the stand out members for me in terms of performance, he’s a great actor and it was cool to see him in a role that really allowed him to show his range. From comedy to utter despair Jones was very entertaining and convincing to watch. Alongside him other performers such as Salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel & John C. Reilly also do well. One other performance notable of mention was that of Shirley Henderson’s, who is probably best known for her role as Moaning Myrtle in the Harry Potter series. She channels some of her previous character here but takes it further often making the audience sympathise with her character and probably being the most human of all in this tale of kings, beasts and fantasy.
‘Tale of Tales’ really shouldn’t be missed, it’s a blissfully mad combination of stories tied together by a strong cast and a grounded score from Alexandre Desplat. Stick with the narrative because it does go places despite the initial impression and the reward is really worth it. I’ve a feeling that this will be one of the most memorable films of the year.
Rating – 8/10
Question: What is your favourite Alexandre Desplat score?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
Thanks for reading this review and please let me know what you thought about the movie! Leave a comment below or drop me a tweet over at @HCMovieReviews.