Thursday, September 27, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth

Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth takes place in Spain, around 1944, during the Spanish Civil War, and centers around Ofelia, a little girl caught between a fairy tale and a brutal reality. A fatherless child, Opelia is faced with a strange and harsh life when her mother marries Captain Vidal, an officer in GeneralĂ­simo Francisco Franco’s army. Vidal is a cold, cruel man and Ofelia's life in this forested military outpost becomes increasingly stressful as she forms attachments to some of the rebel spies who are working in Vidal's very household.

Meanwhile, Ofelia is consumed with completing a series of tasks which will prove her worth and allow her to enter the fairy world. Actually, according to the story, she is trying to reenter the fairy world through the labyrinth, and she must be very, very brave. Ofelia is required to be tough in both worlds--one which is filled with sorrow, the other filled with horrifying obstacles.

This is a very sad movie. The die is cast for all of the characters from the beginning; everyone has either made his or her choices in life, or has no choice, like poor Ofelia, and the audience watches the consequences unfold. It is also an excellent movie. All the actors were wonderful, especially
Ivana Baquero, who portrayed Ofelia. That's a name to be remember.

Pan's Labyrinth is subtitled, and I haven't given much of a synopsis here, but be sure to pay very close attention in the beginning, when the time period and the source of the fairy tale are established (some of it goes by quickly). It's an intricate story, and the ending is open to interpretation. If you see it, please come back and tell me what you thought.


Doug said...

How have I still not seen this? This is very confusing.

actonbell said...

It's definitely a great one to rent--my summary is so bare-bones it might not make much sense, but the movie does:)

TLP said...

Would your Dad be willing to watch it, ya think?

Miz BoheMia said...

I have so wanted to see this but, what with the move and all, have not had the chance to do so yet... now you have inspired me to push Loverboy into watching it with me... I am intrigued indeed and will let you know what I think once I get to it!

Doug said...

I just finished watching it and I thought it was terrific (although a little cheerful for my taste.)

Here's a true confession: I wrote the first four episodes of Diogenes on my vacation in Europe last year (including the one with Pan living in the vace.) On my way in to work on my first day back I heard of this movie and felt robbed.

But it's ok now. There were no nekkid philosophers in the movie, few honest men and any similarities are purely coincidental.

actonbell said...

haha, Doug!
Mom, I think he'd give a try. Might not make it through, but it would appeal to him.

Hi, mizB! Yes, I think you'd like it, and you won't need the subtitles:)

G said...

Thanks for the insight. I'll have to DVR it as I see it playing lately on HBO. I'll let you know.