Titirangi Storyteller

Telling tales from around the world

Pan’s Labyrinth

with 2 comments

untitledIt’s 1944, five years after the end of  Spanish Civil. The close of WWII in Europe is at hand.

Ten year old Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) and her heavily pregnant mother Carmen (Ariadna Gil) travel to a remote fascist outpost in the Spanish forest, where they will join her new husband, Capitán Vidal (Sergi López). A ruthless man, he is charged with dispensing the last of the rebels. Despite the risks to her health, he has insisted she give birth to his son where he is.

Capitán despises stepdaughter Ofelia, not least for her love of fairy tales. But deep in the woods, Ofelia has met a wondrous faun, who has given her three tasks to complete to prove her character. If she passes, she will be returned as a princess to her true home deep in the earth. Can she do it? Or will Capitán and the horrors of the real world devour her first?

pans_labyrinth_xl_04-film-aThis is one of those rare movies that pulls you into its heart so you share the suffering of each the characters. It is savagely brutal in the way classic fairy tales usually are, though this is balanced by the beauty of the otherworld.  (Note – this flick is much too violent for young viewers to handle! Don’t be misled by the little girl on the cover.)

pans-labyrinth-picsGuillermo Del Toro is a master of fantasy. In Blade II (2002) and Hellboy (2004) he brought comic book characters to life. Here he draws on his passionate love of classic fairy tales to create his own fantasy world, so delicately crafted the CGI special effects blend seamlessly and you are simply dazzled by all that unfolds.

pans-labyrinth-1The two-disc set is loaded with special features, including making of featurettes on set and costume design, cast and crew interviews, commentaries, storyboards and more. One of my favourite movies of all time.

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Written by Titirangi Storyteller

30/04/2009 at 10:42 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Great film. My favourite scene is when the girl’s stepfather gets his cheek cut open. His fascination with clocks is also very creepy. If you liked this film you’ll probably enjoy Guillermo Del Toros earlier film Devil’s backbone at least as much http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0256009/
    Also await with interest what Del Toro will do with the Hobbit
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0903624/ Hopefully a much creepier Gollum and orcs as well.

    Like

    ironanno

    03/05/2009 at 6:57 am

    • That scene is brutal! One of the grossest I have ever seen. I had to hide my eyes – but after I had seen how it was done in the making-of doco, I was able to watch it with interest.
      I think the Capitan is one of the most screen villains of all time. And not just because he would shoot a child… I must write something about him… and maybe a few others of his ilk…

      Like

      titirangistoryteller

      04/05/2009 at 2:18 am


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