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Movie Review: The Tale on Hotstar

Movie The Tale
Genre Biographical Drama
Languages English
TNS Score 87.33
Platform Hotstar
Run-Time 1h 54m
Cast Laura Dern, Isabelle Nélisse, Elizabeth Debicki
Release 2018
Director Jennifer Fox


Based on the true-life story of Jennifer Fox, the narrative drifts with the events in the life of a documentary maker, who learns some astonishing facts about her own life. As she discovers some of her old writings, she comes to the knowledge of being sexually exploited as a child. It’s almost as if she’s trying to re-create her childhood through these writings with the support of her own memory and that of the people who were present in her life then.


Brilliantly written ‘tale,’ that is narrated through the protagonist’s memory of an event from her childhood. The plot is structured in a very articulate manner that enables the viewers to distance the protagonist from the younger version of herself, as two very separate entities.

The narration of memory is a very complex process and can get very confusing, but the beauty of this film lies in this ambiguity itself. The protagonist tries to remember what happened between her and her running coach, only to know more details and people who were guilty of this sexual exploitation, including her own mother’s ignorance.


The film has been directed very well; the elements of a documentary film have been taken up. It’s almost as if the protagonist is presenting a documentary of her own life, trying to find the truth and building the narrative by interviewing people, reading letters and other writings from the past, and using her own memory to trace the event that changed her life, which she conveniently forgot in the complexities of life.

The film proves that we can’t remember the detail of memory and we can never forget the feeling that accompanied its making. The scenes in which the older Jennifer is asking the young Jennifer about what she feels, is just the highlight of the film, this scene displays the raw beauty of direction with respect to the elements of documentary filmmaking, adopted.


Elizabeth Decicki has done a commendable job in the portrayal of the head-strong character of Mrs. G. Laura Dern is flawless as she plays the protagonist and the present character of Jennifer Fox. Isabelle Nelisse characterizes the childhood version of Jennifer Fox. Jason Ritter has done a great job while playing the role of Bill. All the other characters complement the narrative structure and deliver the deserved commendation.


It’s a great film, with many raw, creative and offbeat elements. The poetic synchronization of the narrative, characterization, direction, and cinematography, makes it a ‘must-watch’ film! You cannot miss watching this drama thriller, that’ll take you on a personal journey of emotions and emergence with Jennifer Fox.

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