Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth

Laberinto del Fauno, commonly known as Pan's Labyrinth to English speakers, is a recently released movie focusing on a child's fantasy world during the Spanish Civil War. The movie is entirely in Spanish with English subtitles, but even still, the movie is worth watching due to content. There are not that many subtitles that ruin the movie, as your eyes continuously scan over the screen and get tired from watching. It's worth the reading.

I'll be honest: I did not completely understand the movie as I was watching it beyond the surface details of the plot. If you have not watched the movie and want to see it, you might not want to continue reading.

I did not understand the significance of each of the fantasy characters, like the fawn, the fairy, or the creepy, skin-hanging monster that held its eyeballs as hands. I did catch the significance of the arrogant Captain, who would always closely shave his face and admire himself in the mirror. I thought that was well done to explain his conceited character.

My first thought was... this is bizarre. But, I began to think about "bizarre," for aren't the bizarre movies the most intriguing, perhaps the ones we remember most, perhaps the ones that make us think a little--the best even. When The Wizard of Oz debued in 1939, I'm sure it look wild, different, and "bizarre" to its viewers, but it has become one of the most famous movies of all time. The movie was not necessarily pegged to a children's audience even though it focused on fantasy, just like Pan's Labyrinth. There was much more beneath the surface of a twisting plot of creatures, monsters, and a pseudo-world that we've never imagined. I think that, like The Wizard of Oz, this movie will stick around and have similar impacts, despite various mixed reviews from the crowd. Most people have raved about it though, from what I've heard. Even the guy at the movie counter told me to rent it as soon as it entered Hollywood Video, and I thought he was a little crazy.

I started to see other reviews and comments on the movie by searching Google and imdb. I found this quote which helped me make more sense of the film: "This is the story about a young girl... and the fantasy world she created, to survive the harsh reality... This movie teaches us how children survive the real world, which they are not prepared for, and how adults forgotten this ability, disregard it as nothing, missing its "power" (

Exactly. I can't say it any better than that. I find the child's imagination so powerful, yet we trump it as it only begins to grow and expand. The child's mind is so strong that I do believe it could create some world like this, but some of the plot lines don't match up with this above theory that she created the world to get over the traumas of her own life. Like how did she save her mother with that creature under the bed? And does this mean that she really dies at the end, not going to a "kingdom?" I guess that would make sense because she reunites with her father...

Can anyone comment or fill in my blanks here? What did you all think of Pan's Labyrinth? Give me a good movie review.

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