4 out of 5 stars
On paper, a 2hr film interweaving three unconnected ‘fairy-tales’ using a Europudding cast with Italian special effects just doesn’t sound very promising. Thankfully the film proves me wrong. It is confidently directed by Matteo Garrone and it’s been a while since I have last come across a script as assured and unpredictable as this. Since the less you know about the stories the better and more intrigued you will be, I will simply call them: Medieval IVF, Catfish and Girl Power to maintain their mysteries. These ‘fairy-tales’ are certainly not for children or for the faint-hearted but anyone else would and should find them enjoyable and most wickedly entertaining. Add to this a very distinctive visual palette and lavish composition, (think a less gothic Guilluermo Del Toro) this is a glorious and captivating film from beginning to end. That is, if you let yourself go with its imaginative and twisted quirkiness. The cast delivers on the whole, with Hayek and Cassel’s accents played down with less dialogue and more wordless acting, while those Italian special effects are surprisingly good (with no idea of its budget). So, if you are looking for something less saccharine and you bemoan how formulaic and conventional modern cinema has become, then I urge you to give this film a try.