Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) (El Laberinto del Fauno)

This is a Mexican fantasy-drama film written and directed by Mexican director, Guillermo del Toro. The film won numerous awards. Everything, starting from soundtracks and ending with scenes, is perfectly worked out in the film.

The story itself is beautiful and touching. As in many films of this type, darkness – real world and light – fairy tale, are interwoven in the story. It starts with a fairy tale of Princess Moanna who left her father’s underworld kingdom for the surface, never returned and died as a human. The king believed that one day her spirit will come back and ordered to leave open the doors to the surface.

After this sad story, we switch to 1944, post-civil war Spain of Franco’s rule. Ofelia (Ivana Baquero), a young girl who loves reading and fairy tales, travels with her pregnant mother Carmen (Ariadna Gil) to remote army base to join her stepfather  Captain Vidal (Sergi López i Ayats). Captain is a cruel character, who kills innocent people and has nothing good inside. The only person, who he seems to love, is his to-be-born son. But this is just an illusion. This love appears to be just an obsession. The moment he meets Ofelia, his gruesome personality becomes apparent.

On the night of their arrival to the army base, little insect, which Ofelia believes to be a fairy, leads her to the labyrinth, where she meets Faun. This grotesque creature tells her that she is that long-lost Princess Moanna. In order to return to the underworld kingdom, she should implement three tasks. One of these tasks is to get a dagger from the lair of the Pale Man, who eats children. Despite these atrocious details, the real world of her stepfather and ill mother is much more disturbing.

The ending is sad and moving. My adult part understood the reality as it is, while my childish part believed in what turned out to be the end. The director’s work and actors’ performances are excellent. The scenes, make-up, images, soundtracks, characters, dresses, hairstyles and many other things are highly well-thought and flawlessly made.

The film is a great watch in the company of friends. Though, it is based on fairy tale and young girl’s life, “Pan’s labyrinth” is not a film for children, or a family watch. Be prepared for strong emotions and some tears.

Reviewer’s rating: 9.0 out of 10

  1. One of the more original films with a beautiful and intriguing styles I have seen in a LONG time. I loved this movie.

  2. I loved it too! I very rarely give 9.0 points to films, but this beautiful film just stole my heart.

    • Alef Jim
    • August 29th, 2011

    Yes, It is a beautiful film. I watched it long time ago and I still remember its vivid imagery.

  1. August 28th, 2011

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