The Plot: We are at “once upon a time” territory, with three tales that go on simultaneously. A Queen (Salma Hayek) is willing to do anything to have a child and then to have him only for herself. A libertine King (Vincent Cassel) falls in love with the voice of a woman, without knowing it belongs to an old one, who with her sister decides to deceive him. Another King (Toby Jones) forces her daughter (Bebe Cave) to marry a kind of ogre.
The cast: With the exception of Bebe Cave, it feels like no one in the cast felt any kind of emotional connection with the material and that they don’t believe in their characters. The worse is probably Vincent Cassel, whom I want to believe only did this for the money, but it can also be Christian and Jonah Lees who are terribly inexpressive as the twins. Salma Hayek looks very pretty in her dresses, but this is far from her best moments.
The Movie: I love “once upon a time” stories, but in order for them to work in film they need to have a fantasy/magic quality that is missing here. Visually, this is a strong movie, but the stories are uninteresting and director Matteo Garrone drags the action, turning this into a long and boring movie. Fans of gore and fabulous dresses will have a great day, but that’s not enough for me. Sometimes the stories are ridiculous (the giant flee is a good example) and the characters aren’t believable. On the same genre, but with songs, INTO THE WOODS is much better.
My Rate: 2 (from 1 to 10)