maandag 23 juli 2018

00s Movie Review - Pan's Labyrinth

Director: Guillermo Del Toro
Genre: Drama/ Horror/ Thriller/ Fantasy
Runtime: 119 minutes
Year: 2006
Starring: Ivana Baquero, Doug Jones, Sergi López, Ariadna Gil, Maribel Verdú, Álex Angulo, Roger Casamajor, César Vea, Íñigo Garcés, Sebastián Haro, Eusebio Lárazo, Mina Lira, Federico Luppi, Ivan Masagué, Chema Ruiz, Ana Sáez, Manolo Solo, Milo Taboada, Fernando Tielve, Francisco Vidal

Description: In the falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter (Ivana Baquero) of a sadistic army officer (Sergi López) escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.

Review: “Pan’s Labyrinth” opens with the heavy breath of a young girl, Ofelia. When we see her lying down on the grown she is dying. Her eyes are watery and blood comes from her nose. While the camera shows us Ofelia, the blood goes back into her mouth and life comes back in her eyes. A new introduction. A voice tells us a fairytale about a princess from an underground kingdom who ran away and went into the human world. When she got there, she was blinded by the lights and lost her memory. Eventually she dies, but the king always believed her soul would return. The two different introductions are the heart of “Pan’s Labyrinth”.
Reality is tough for young Ofelia. Her mother’s health is bad, because she is pregnant. We meet them on the day they move in with mother’s new husband: a terrible army captain with an obsession for punctuality and discipline. Ofelia flees into her own fairytale, which isn’t that safe either. An intrusive Faun is waiting for her, giving her dangerous tasks. The tasks reflect the problems Ofelia is dealing with in real life. It’s a revelation to see the main characters not fleeing from reality to a dream world, but learning from that dream world about reality. Ofelia learns to make the right decisions in a mad world, the world of her stepfather, a world of fascism.
This takes us to a strong point in the film. The fascism also exists in the fairytale world. Take the scene where Ofelia is confronted with the ‘pale man’. He’s pictured as faceless, abstract, punctual, subordinating the individual. The message of the movie could be: dare to be disobedient. Dare to fantasize. Dare to live in your own world.
The montage is phenomenal, it’s fluent. And the art direction, cinematography, make-up, acting, music and script are all perfect. Together it makes one of the most beautiful films in movie history.

Rating: 5/ 5

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