This is a 2015 fairytale film directed by Matteo Gerrome, and stars Salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel, Toby Jones and John Christopher Reilly.
Aesthetically pleasing with beautiful costumes and filmed at breathtaking locations such as the Castel del Monte, Castle of Roccascalegna and the Alcantara River. There are different characters with their own stories here and the film is based on the fairy stories by Giambattista Basile.
The theme is dark and almost brutal, cruel and vicious. Such as the Queen of Longtrellis who is so desperate to have a child that she devours a sea monster's heart. The problem is that in order to get the heart, a life will be sacrificed and a virgin has to cook it first. Both queen and virgin fall pregnant and give birth to boys who are like twins, and they grow up as good friends. The queen is disapproving of her sons' friendship with a cook's son, and has attempted to put an end to it. The boys are seperated but a sacred tree outside the castle behaves like a signal.
Many have found that the film has so many unanswered questions. I shall not attampt to explain it as that would be a SPOILER and I don't want to do that. I shall just review on the stories that are both entertaining and weird.
Another tale is almost like Beauty and the Beast except the princess doesn't love her new husband that she's forced to marry because he's an ogre. A mad king raised a flea as a pet and he shows it more care than he does for his own daughter.
Another even whackier story of two shy sisters living together in a cottage, when a king falls in love when he listens to their singing. He turns up at the house and tries to woo them out. Little does he know that the sisters are old hags!
Here is an extract from the book The Tale of Tales with the story "The Flea":
Every animal loves its offspring; you alone treat your own seed with a contrary heart and nausea, you alone cannot stomach your own daughter! Oh, better if my mother had suffocated me...A quote by the princess Porziella to her father, the King of Mountain found in The Tale of Tales by Giambattista Basile.
The film gets an 8/10.
Most favourite scene: The queen does a Daenerys Targaryen and chews on a heart.