Sunday, December 03, 2006

El Laberinto Del Fauno

After working a very long week of 10 or 12 hour days and only Sunday off, I went to see Pan's Labyrinth last night. It may very well end up being my film of the year, I absolutely LOVED it. In all honesty I don't think I have a bad word to say about it.

It was much harsher and more explicitly violent than I was expecting, not to mention downright terrifying in places. It's billed as a fairy tale for grown ups. Very accurate. Set at the end of the Spanish Civil War, it focuses on a little girl with a vivid imagination whose mother has embarked on a relationship with a facist army captain. They are taken to the edge of a forest where a group of rebels are hiding out, pursued by said captain and his army. Running parallel to this storyline is the fairy tale part whereby the little girl, Ofelia, discovers the titular labyrinth and Pan, who believes her to be the reincarnated spirit of the king's daughter from his world. He sets her a series of tasks to prove to herself that she is the princess and can return to the world she left behind.

Such an outlandish premise could quite easily have been an absolute disaster. Guillermo Del Toro manages to make it work beautifully, never putting a foot wrong and unbalancing the picture. The performances are all wonderful, particularly Ivana Baquero as Ofelia. It becomes increasingly intense as the film progresses and the two worlds begin to encroach on each other and if the entirely pitch perfect ending doesn't leave you with a lump in your throat and wanting to believe in fairy tales, well then you have no soul. If there's any justice, this film will pick up a shedload of awards in the coming months.


Limecrete said...

How violent? People's intestines being ripped out and then being strangled with them violent? I have to screen my gore intake; I'm that wimpy.

Popcultureboy said...

Without getting spoilertastic, I will say that if you are on the squeamish side, you will spend some time with your face in your hands watching this movie. I went to see this with someone whose threshold for watching ickiness is through the roof and even they had to look away a couple of times.