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Pan's Labyrinth (27-May-2006)

Original Title: El Laberinto del Fauno

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Writer: Guillermo del Toro

Keywords: Fantasy, Drama, Spanish Civil War

A soldier's stepdaughter escapes into a peculiar fantasy realm amidst the turmoil of fascist-dominated Spain.

Ofelia, a young girl obsessed with fairy tales and the concept of fairy tale worlds, is sent to live with her sadistic Spanish Army officer stepfather during the worst days of Spain's Francisco Franco-led fascist regime. Whisked away in the middle of the night by a fairy to a faun in a labyrinth, Ofelia is informed of her status as a princess, forced to complete three ungodly tasks with the penalty of never seeing her real father -- the king of the fantastical, yet frightening, realm in question -- if she fails.

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Ariadna Gil
23-Jan-1969   Pan's Labyrinth
Doug Jones
24-May-1960   Pan's Labyrinth
Sergi López
22-Dec-1965   Pan's Labyrinth
Maribel Verdú
2-Oct-1970   Y Tu Mama Tambien


Review by Angel Marianosia (posted on 24-Oct-2007)

Pan's Labyrinth was a vision into a world apart from a cruel, unforgiving life. True there was disgusting language and foul images of sadistic torture and murder, but keep in mind, this movie is of reality and fantasy. Like it or not, such merciless acts have been performed in reality (you know, the place where we live). Why hide from it?- it's true. It is what makes Ofelia's fantasy world all the more valuable. The story she had told earlier in the film about the rose on the mountain was extremely important to the plot and the final outcome of the story. What is the promise of immortality (or a great promise of any kind) if you are not willing to go through the trials and pains to get there? The ending may not have been exactly happy, but Ofelia was released from her pains; she was set free. Is freedom not worth the pain?

Review by Amandine (posted on 13-Dec-2007)

Probably one of the best movies I have ever seen. Definitely on my top five. I agree with the fact that it wasn't exactly presented as the movie actually was, but you can't deny the fact that Pan's Labyrinth isn't one of the greatest films. It's a shame it didn't win for best foreign film. The unceremonious dismissal of beloved characters only adds to the bonds created through this movie with the characters, and the audience finds themselves wanting to be back in Ofelia's safe(er) world, that's why it's doled out in little portions, to make you believe that this little girl would create this whole other fantasy world to escape. Amazing movie. Moving and very touching.

Review by Reid Fleming (posted on 5-Aug-2007)

A real disappointment, owing to the bait-and-switch marketing of the film (at least here in the United States). I had expected a stunning visual adventure through a fairytale world, which was only sparingly doled out in bits and pieces over the course of the story. The rest of the time you're stuck in Franco-era Spain, witnessing ghastly horrors of war close up. A man has his face beaten flat on camera, people are sadistically tortured, sympathetic characters die unceremoniously. Nothing necessarily wrong with any of that, mind you, but none of it was on the box at the rental store. The film is a gigantic downer; depressive types should probably stay away.

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