Tale of Tales (2015) - full transcript

The film serves as Garrone's English-language debut and will interweave three separate story strands bookended by brief bits in which Italians Alba Rohrwacher and Massimo Ceccherini will play a street circus family. In one tale Salma Hayek will play a jealous queen who forfeits her husband's life. In another, Vincent Cassel plays a king whose passion is stoked by two mysterious sisters.

Please, my love.

Please, my dearest.
Do not be upset.

It was a mistake.

I didn't know she was
in this condition. My love, please.

Please, my love...

Forgive me, my love.

I will make you happy.

Who are you?

I would not bother you

if I were not certain
that Your Majesties

will attach great importance
to what I'm about to say.

I've heard the promises
of many charlatans before.

And you have put many
in the stocks.

that does not concern me.

You seem very sure of yourself.

What will it cost?

An act of courage and of sacrifice.

What d'you mean by that?

Birth is always stained by death.

And death, in turn,
is simply one element of birth

and not even the most dramatic one.

Be less mysterious.
Come to the point.

You want a child?

Every new life
calls for a life to be lost.

The equilibrium of the world
must be maintained.

Do you understand?

I am prepared to die in order
to feel life grow inside me.

We are speaking of possibility,
not certainty.

Are you willing to accept the risk?

What must we do?

Hunt down a sea monster.

Cut out its heart
and have it cooked by a virgin.

But she must be alone.

When Your Majesty eats the heart

you will become pregnant

Which is the girl?

You, come here.

You are still a virgin, right?

Come with me,
the queen needs you.

Hurry UP!

It's coming, Your Majesty.
It's coming.

What's happening?
What's happening?




Where are you, my DOV?



Your Highness!

Your Highness!

Your Highness!

Your Highness!

Your Highness!

Your Highness!

Why must you continue
to disobey my commands?

How many times have I told you?

They must stop seeing each other.

The next time that bastard boy
of yours comes anywhere near my son

I will throw you both out.

You understand?

Don't look at me!

Now go.

What does she have to do with this?
What has she done wrong?

Take it out on me if you have to,
but leave her out of it.

How dare you talk to me like that?

You disrespect me
and you disobey me.

You know you were not supposed
to see him.

Come here.

Elias, you are a prince.

You cannot befriend
of a son of a servant.

But I like being with him.

He's like a brother to me,
I will see him whenever I want.

A brother?

The only one bond of blood
that you have is with me.

Your mother!

And it's to me that you owe
respect and obedience.

I am your queen,
don't you ever forget it.

You owe me an apology.

I'm sorry, mother.


My son...

If I ever see you with him again,
you will both regret it.

Who sings with
such a beautiful voice?

Where have you been hiding
all this time?

How is it that I have never met you?

Never even seen you?

How old are you?



No, don't go! Don't go!
Don't hide!

Stay out in the sunlight.

Please, stay out
to warm your cold king.

Oh I see!
So you want to play hard to get.

Well, so be it.

I have fought many wars in my time.

And even the most impregnable
fortress surrenders at last.

Who is it?

I have a gift for you,
from your king.

What is it?

It's beautiful!

- Let me try it, Dora.
- Wait.


- Dora, please...
- Get the mirror.

Stop it!

You don't think
we have to give it back?

To the king?


What good is it to us?

Makes us look more beautiful.
Don't you think?

But whoever sees us?
We're always shut up inside here.

I see you, silly.


Okay, I'll keep this.

- At the closing of the day, oh Lord.
- Watch over us as we sleep.

Keep us safe and warm in Your heart.

Who is it?

It's me... your king.

Did you like my present?

Have you tried it on?

My royal heart is very generous,
you know?

Ever since this morning
when I first heard you sing,

I have been burning
in the furnace of desire. Come on!

Open up this door,
so I can see you.


Sir, there must be
some misunderstanding...

I see...

You are going to tease me,
aren't you?

Let me see you, for heaven's sake!

You like playing with your king?

Play with you, sir?

Oh no!

I'm just a poor girl, I don't deserve
the honor you bestow on me.

The honor! What honor!
It's desire that drives me.

Open up this door, let me in.
Let me see you, for damned sake!

- Dora, what shall we do?
- Let me think.

We must not let
an opportunity like this get away.

- Your Majesty...
- Yes?

You can't imagine how the modesty
of this young virgin

is being put to the test
by your offer.


All my heart's aflutter.

I feel faint.

But all I can promise you today

is this:

come back in a week's time

and I will give you a part of me

that alone illustrates my beauty.

Which part of your body
will you grant me?

A finger, Your Majesty.

A finger?

A finger...

Well... All right, my jasmine flower,
my little honeysuckle.

I shall wait

and I shall return and admire
the eighth wonder of the world,

your rosy maidenly finger.

What shall we do, Dora?

We'll think of something.

This next piece
I composed myself for my father,

to whom I dedicate it
with all my heart.

"He grabs the iron bars
pulling and shaking them,

bending the metal and tearing
the bars from the wall."

Could you just read the part
where they kiss?

"Then the queen her arms extends,

and to her breast his head she bends,

and on the bed in warm embrace,

the queen displays her radiant face."

Now Lancelot has what he desires,

the queen's embrace sets him on fire,

so sweet a game to kiss and hold.

Such pleasure this, if truth be told,

no one ever felt before,
such joy in loving they adore."

And now we should leave.

Could we read it again?

- Your Majesty.
- Yes?

- Some papers to sign.
- Later. Later.

I'm sorry, Your Majesty, they are
rather urgent, people want paying.

All is so urgent.

My lord and father,

at my age a girl
should already know

what sort of gallantries
men are capable of.

She should be learning to distinguish
whose heart is sincere

and who instead tells lies.

If I stay here,
my head will always be empty,

and I fear my heart will be too.

Before long you will be
old enough to be married

and then you will depart
these walls forever.


If that is indeed the case,

then find me a husband.

A husband?

What sort of husband would you like?

I'd like my husband to be

courageous and strong and...


I'm sure such a man exists,

but until we find him,


do not agitate yourself over a future
none of us can predict.

Now, let us finish our supper.

- What is it, my dear?
- It's not cooked enough.


Yes, yes, yes...




Come, my DOY-

Come near me.

I can't make up my mind
about the earrings tonight.

Would you help me?
Which one do you like better.

Should we try them on?

Did you take your lesson?

Yes, earlier.

MaY I go now?

Of course.

Good night.


You won't believe this.

What happened?

I was just in your mother's room.

- What?
- Don't worry. I was in her room.

She thought I was you.

No... impossible...

- You are playing with me.
- She thought I was you.

I was in her room... me!

- You are not joking?
- She thought I was you, I swear.

She actually called me Elias.

Do you know what this means?


If we've managed to fool
even my mother,

we can do whatever we want.

- What?
- I'll be eighteen soon.

Then I'll have the throne and
we can take it in turns being king.

- What? Take turns?
- Yes.

Me one day, you the next.
What do you say?

- Me, king?
- Yes.

Imagine how happy my mother will be.

You could do whatever you wanted.

Maybe I could make her a noblewoman

and maybe she could have
a little castle as well.

We're king,
we don't have to listen anybody.

We could give her
everything she desires.

- Everything.
- Just perfect!

But we have to keep this a secret.


Between you and me, nobody can know.

- Who is it?
- It's me, your mother.

One moment!

This way.

Jonah, my jacket!

Help me.

Come in, mother.

What is it?

I just wanted to see you.

You have my hands.

Even though you were inside me
only one night,

you still managed to take on my form.

You have no idea
how much I wanted you.

How much I sacrificed for you.

You told me many times before.

No one will ever love you like I do.

See you tomorrow?


Your Highness, please.

Your Highness!

What are you doing?
Where are you going?


What are you doing?

Jonah! Why are you leaving?

I have to go.

Why? What's happened?

I have to, don't ask me
anything more.

You can't just leave like this.

I've made up my mind,
I have no choice.

Please, be well and don't forget me.


I'm your king and
I order you to stay.

Come... Look.

You come to this spring every day

and here you will see
the flow of my life.

If the water runs clear,

you will know that my life too
is clear and serene.

If it runs muddy,
you will know that I am in trouble.

If it dries up, you will know
that I have too reached my end.

You! Stop that!

Get away from here!




Here I am, my little darling.

Having counted the days
and numbered the nights,

at long last,

your king is here.


my precious one,
show me what you promised.

Dora! Dora!


So soft and tender.

Sweet smelling.

Now, my dearest heart,

now that you have shown me
your beautiful finger,

show me the rest,
show me your face,

show me your mouth, your neck,
so I can kiss it. Please!

Now courtesy demands that I ask

for something that
I could freely take,

without any pretext.

I'm your king, don't forget!

Your Majesty...

my royal lord,

since you have deigned

to demean yourself,
leaving your lofty chambers

to come to this lowly pigsty,

far be it from me to dispute
the will of such a great king.


I am ready

and willing to grant your desires.

I only ask of you this one favor.

Of course.

I be welcomed into your bed

in the darkness of the night,

without any candles,

for my heart could not withstand

you seeing me naked.

Of course, my beautiful angel.

Anything you like.

Do it!


Let me see. Let me see.

Okay. Hold it.

Hold it.


And the other one.

Shut up, Imma!

Keep us safe and warm
in your heart.

Always and forever and ever,
keep us warm...

And safe from everything.



You summoned me, Your Majesty.

You tricked me, you witch!

Throw her out.


Throw her out. Now! Do it!

You wanted me to come!

What are you doing up there?

There is nothing to laugh at.

I'm not funny!

- Help me down!
- Yes, I'll help you down.

You shouldn't be up in a tree
at your age.

Help me down.

Oh dear, oh dear...

All this complaining.

Now, now...

Come on now.

There we go.

Come on... Come on...


This too will pass.

Everything passes.

Doctor! Doctor!

Come quick, the king
needs you right away.

I'm coming. I'm coming.

Your Majesty, the doctor!

It's a respiratory problem.

What are your symptoms?

Not me! Not me!

- Come.
- What's this?


Come... Please...

- Come!
- Yes, Your Majesty.

Please... Please...

- What is this?
- I don't know what beast this is!

Oh dear! That's not good.

Do something!

Your Highness...

Oh, dear...

Your Highness...



You must tell no one
of what you have seen this evening.

- Your Majesty...
- No one!

This is my favorite color.

- I love this.
- Neckline is very attractive.

So have you found
something to please you?

Yes. They are all so beautiful.

Why did you send for them?

You want to look beautiful
on your wedding day, don't you?

So, I'm to be married?

Of course.

You were right, Violet.
It's time I found you a husband.

I understand you are bored
living here with us at the castle

and in this way you can venture forth
and discover new places.

- It's what you wanted.
- Yes!

Then, who will my husband be, father?


He will be braver than
the most valiant knight

and wiser even than
our own court doctor.

Thank you.

- What is his name?
- Not even I know his name yet.

How can that be?
Do you not know him?

Surely, as an avid reader
you know that

the husband of a princess can only
be discovered through a tournament.

So I won't choose him myself.

What if I don't love him?

You will love him, Violet.
You will.

Of course, it is possible that
no suitor will pass the test.

Then what will I do?

Then fate will have decided

that you must live a while longer
with your old father.

Your turn.

This is the hide of a sow.



- He is very serious.
- He's old.

Verrus singularis silvano.


Verrus singularis silvano... No!


- Father...
- A moment!

- What is it?
- Please, I'm longing to know.

Just tell me what piece
that strange hide belongs to.

No, it's forbidden.

- I won't tell a soul.
- It's impossible.

I'm your daughter!

Oh very well, I can deny you nothing.

You wish to know to which beast
this hide belongs?


It is the skin of a flea.


Giant manatee.




No, no...

Everyone has the right to guess.

- Father...
- It's fine.







No! Wait!

Please, StOP!

I never imagined anyone would guess.

I'm sorry.

I understand.

It was never my intention that
I would give you to such a monster.

But what can I do?
You heard the proclamation.

I can't go back on my word.

Patience, my blessed child.

Perhaps... Perhaps... Violet...

Perhaps the will of God
is behind this unusual fate.

I know you are scared but...

My heart tells me that
you will find a strength to be happy.


You tried to deceive me
with your words, father!

Your heart tells you?
You have no heart!

Silence! You forget the duties
and obligations of a king.

You're not a king.

You're not even a man.

Not even a beast.

Beasts at least love their offspring.

They try to protect them.

But not you. I'm nothing to you.

I wish that my mother
had strangled me in my crib

instead of leaving me in your hands.


Whatever I do is done well.

No one has the right to question
my will, least of all my daughter!

Fear not,
your obligations shall be respected.

No one will be able to say that
the king did not keep to his word.


I'm sorry, Your Majesty,
I've looked everywhere.

I can't find him.

What d'you mean, you can't find him?

Your Highness!


Your Highness!

It's him!

He's back! Fenizia!

He's back, Jonah is alive!

Jonah, my love! Jonah!

We knew you would come back to us.

You have no idea how long
we've been looking for you!

How much time has passed?

I'm sorry, I don't remember.

Five days.
You've been gone five days.

Where did I go?

The forest.

The forest...
Why was I in the forest?

Where is he?

He is searching for his friend.

You wanted to separate
what is inseparable.

I want my son back.

Now I will repeat what I told you.

Every desire, every action
corresponds to another.

A violent desire such as yours

can only be satisfied with violence.

And there will be a cost.

You know I'm willing to pay it.


Jonah, can you hear me?


I'm here, help me!


I'm here! Help me!




- I'm coming!
- Help me!

- Quick! Help me!
- Don't worry, I'm here.

Quick! Oh, my God!

An invitation to the king's wedding.

Who sent it to me?

The future queen.



It's me.

It's me, Dora.

I've missed you so much!


It's me.


I don't know what happened.

I fell asleep.

When I woke up
I had changed my skin.

What do you mean?

I changed my skin, I don't know...

You're so beautiful.



From now on, you don't have
to worry about a thing.

I'll take care of you.

Anything you want,
it will be yours.


- I have to go now.
- No!

I'll come back,

but remember,

this has to be our secret.

Not a word to anyone.

Dora, wait... Wait!

The queen is my sister.

No! No!

I have to stay here with my sister.

Yes I'm sure she's our sister,

but it's time to go, the party is
over and the guests are leaving.

I'm not a guest.
I'm the queen's sister.

- Get up!
- No, I'm staying here.

You are not listening to me, get up!

- You may go now.
- Yes, Your Majesty.

Dora, they want me to leave.

What did I tell you?

You have to keep quiet. Remember?

- It's a secret.
- I want to be with you.

You can't be with me.

- Do you want me to lose everything?
- No.

So you need to go.


- I want to be with you.
- I said go!



I thought maybe I could sleep here.

I'm tired of being alone.

Listen to me, you can't stay here,
no one must see you, you have to go.

- I want to be with you.
- And you can't.

- Why?
- Take a look at yourself, Imma!

You're old.

No one would believe we are sisters.

I want to become young too.
I want to.

I want to! How did you do it?

- I already told you, I don't know...
- No, tell me!

- You tell me!
- I changed my...

I had myself flayed.
Now that's enough!

Don't you dare move.

- What? No!
- It's okay...

Her, again!



- Guards!
- Calm down...

- Guards!
- She's no one, I can explain.

- Who is she?
- She's a neighbor...

She's behind. Get her out!

- Who is she?
- She won't do anything, please...

- Take her out!
- Please, don't hurt her...

What was she doing in my bedroom?
Out of my sight!

Out of my sight!

No... no...

I have to stay here, with my sister.

Master barber, I have
something to ask you.

Tell me.

Could you change my skin?

Flay me.

Why would you want to do that?

Because I want to be young again.

My dear...

You will die.

I can pay you, my sister's a queen.

A queen?

Well... then...

You go tell the queen

not to let you out on your own again.

Come on, go back home.



I have something to ask you.

- What?
- Can you change my skin?

- Change your skin?
- Flay me.

- Flay you?
- I can pay you.

My sister is the queen.



Help me, please! Please!

I'm being held prisoner by an ogre.

You must have heard about me,
I'm a princess.

The king's daughter who was given
in marriage to an ogre.

I need you to help me
to get to the other side.

Where is this ogre
that holds you prisoner?

He's hunting but he will back in.

I have to get across before he comes
back. You have to help me now.

How can I help you?

I'm sorry.

No! Please don't go!

I can't stay here!

Please, stay!

Please! Please!

I have my sons,
they can save you.

But you have to wait until tomorrow.

No, I can't wait until tomorrow.

Don't be afraid, trust me.
We'll come back tomorrow.

No! Please, don't go!
Don't leave me, please!



Your majesty!

Your majesty!

Violet is here!

The princess has returned!

Your Majesty! Violet is here.

Violet has come home to us.

Come, sir, It would do
your heart good to see her.

Your Majesty, don't move.

Please, Your Majesty...

You are too weak...


Here is the husband
that you chose for me.

Forgive me.

Please, forgive me.