|NEW Mc-Pans Labyrinth|
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|Display Format:||Special Edition with Movie Pass|
|Director:||Guillermo Del Toro|
|Leading Role:||Ivana Baquero, Sergi Lopez, Maribel Verdú, Doug Jones, Ariadna Gil|
Average review score based on 195 user reviews
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This movie was one of the best fiction movies ever made. The plot of the movie flowed on perfectly as the story developed. Ofelia is a young girl who travels with her mother to meet her new husband, Captain Vidal, a cruel military man who tortures his captives in a war in Spain in 1940. Ofelia is soon caught up the magical world; a faun attracts her to it by claiming she is their long lost princess. In order to enter that world, she will have to perform several dangerous tasks, all while dealing with the fact that her mother will soon give birth to her brother, and having to please her new father, the captain, whose cruelty reaches levels of intensity. The violence on behalf of the captain is quite graphic, I actually had to turn away at one point, but enjoyed the work put into making such scences so intense. Another scene that may not suit squeamish viewers is where Ofelia confronts the toad in the tree. Also, another strong scene that is very strong is when Ofelia's mother, Carmen, gives birth to Ofelia's brother. Ofelia mentions the faun to the caretaker, Mercedes, who hides secrets of her own. In the end, Ofelia discovers the fine line between good and evil. The special effects/graphics are incredible and the acting is even better. The fact that the movie took place in the 1940s during a war and the magical world wanting their princess back is just so marvelous as it ties to completely different situations to make a beautiful movie. Ivana Baquero, Ariadna Gil, Maribel Verdu and Sergi Lopez star as Ofelia, Carmen (Ofelia's Mother), Mercedes and Captain Vidal respectively in Guillermo del Toro's finest work of art.
Set during Spanish Civil War, Guillermo Del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth" is a twisted, dark fairy tale that leads you down a journey of pain and anguish.
The film is not intended at all to be for children, yet uses childlike innocence to help tell us a tale that teeters on the edge of nightmarish dreamscapes mixed with corruption, violence, and the death of innocents.
The fantasy sequences in the truest sense where intended to be real (not imagined) by Ophelia. Their intent is to miraculously take us to a mystical land of fairy tales, however it could, perhaps in a dark, dangerous, and unexpected way. More than most of the time the film exists outside of the fairy world, in the even more frightening world of a real life struggle of ideas and ideology.
Sergi Lopez is excellent as the brutal (and possibly sadistic) Falangist Captain tasked with routing out the remaining leftists from the woods and hills of Northern Spain. Into this precarious situation come his new wife (a widow of a former marriage, who is carrying his son) and his stepdaughter Ophelia (played to absolute perfection, by the then 11 year old, Ivana Baquero).
Uncomfortable with her new surroundings, suspicious of her stepfather and desperately concerned about the worsening condition of her mother, Ophelia uncovers a strange alternative world, and the chance to escape forever the pain and uncertainty of her everyday life.
Thus the film alternates between the world of Civil War Spain and the increasingly bizarre, dark and frightening world of the Pan's Labyrinth. As the twin plots progress, they intertwine, with the tasks of Ofelia becoming the choices faced by a Spain at the crossroads. The poignancy of the film lies partly in the fact that the victories of the child are reflected so starkly by the failures of the adult world.
Apparently Pan's Labyrinth won a 20-minute standing ovation at Cannes, when it was shown. This may be a little bit over the top. I suspect when the furore has died down some will choose to swing the pendulum back and criticize it for its more obvious faults. Much of the film is derivative. There are few ideas in the film's magical dreamworld that haven't been seen before.
For all the evident truth of these observations, to accept them would be to entirely miss the majesty of "Pan's Labyrinth", which doesn't lie in its originality, but in its absolute mastery of execution. People will watch the film in a way that most will not "Land and Freedom". In doing so, they will also discover a world of fairy tales which existed before "Disney" sunk its claws into them: a dangerous world, where nothing is as it seems and every step is a possible death – a place which may leave even adults shivering under a table, part in terror, part in wonder.
I'm going to give this film a 4/5, partly because the content was extremely cruel a moments and didn't require focusing so much upon the vanity and cruelty of the Captain.
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Pan's Labyrinth is an excellent Spanish film from director, Guillermo del Toro (Blade II, Hellboy)
The movie takes place just after the spanish civil war where young Ofelia and her sick mother, Carmen, are moving to the country side to live the Ofelia's new and cruel stepfather, Captain Vidal, a captian in the army. Occupying the mountains surrounding there estate is a group called the resistance that still fight the spanish forces. Things start to get strange when Ofelia stumbles upon a mysterious labyrinth. There she meets a Faun telling her that she is a princess of the world that is beneath the labyrinth and our world. He tells her that she can escape all of the evil surrounding her and move to the underground kingdom if she completes three tasks.
Ofelia now must try to help her-self and her sick mother and when the resistance strikes she finds her-self in the middle of a clash between good and evil.
AN EXCELLENT MOVIE. FIVE STARS. TWO THUMBS UP. I definetly recommend and the subtitles aren't annoying to read.
First, I want to point out to those people who gave this movie a bad review because it is in Spanish- Deal with it. I can only feel sorry for you if you're going to look over a movie just because it is in a different language. "It doesn't have english vocals!" SO WHAT? I've had the misfortune of watching wonderful movies ruined from bad english dubs and it makes me adamantly against it. If you cannot read and watch at the same time, then get learning. You may find it inconvienient, but it is always better to watch movies in their original state and how the director intended for the audience to view the listen to the movie. Besides, when a movie is dubbed, the content IS CHANGED. It will not be the same as the original script. The whole tone of the movie couldn't have been the same in English, in fact, it helps set the atmosphere fantastically considering this is set 5 years after the SPANISH CIVIL WAR.
Ok, onto the movie.
I thought it to be fantastically creative and though it was violent and bloodly at times, it helped to cling to the very dark atmosphere of the movie. Guillermo del Toro is truly a genius when it comes to recreating fantasy- he doesn't stick to the typical well-known characterizations and makes it entirely his own in a way you probably wouldn't have considered. This movie isn't your average "story about a girl" but holds immense significance and symbolism. No character is without meaning and they all represent a kind of life that we are all familiar with. Evil vs Good, Child vs Adult, Birth vs Death and so on. Each scene is filmed with precision and painstaking detail such as the scenes where it looked like it was raining and cold- the area was actually going through a state of drought. All the rain had actually been manufacted for the scenes.
One of my favorite scenes is of Ofelia and the Pale man (though that scene always scared me half to death). You see Ofelia eating the grape despite the warnings given to her and it acts almost as an homage to the orginal fairy tales where there is always disobedience and then the consequence which would lead to the moral of the whole story. And though I found myself chastising her for eating the stupid grape I suddenly remembered information from an earlier scene: Her mother had punished her to go without dinner the day before, so she must have been very hungry. Only, Guillermo did not have this fact reminded to us at all. I just found it very innovative that he did not "baby" the dialogue to make things too obvious for us when following along with the story.
Which is why I think this is a movie that is always worth rewatching and if can, you'll be able to catch some wonderful references and symbolism throughout each of the scenes.
This film is a fantasy, with sadistic elements. It is quite violent and shocking at times. The story revolves around a young girl, Ofelia, whose mother is pregnant by her new husband to be, the sadistic Captain Vidal, a fascist officer. The setting is about 1944. In addition to the deceiving captain who shows little human decency to anyone including Ofelia and her mother is Pan, a satyr from the labryinth behind the mill, who tries to convince Ofelia that she is the long lost 'princess' of Pan's world, reincarnated. She is told that she must complete three dangerous tasks in order to prove herself. Both Pan in the fantasy world and Captain Vidal in the real world, appear to be formidable and Ofelia moves closer to the fantasy world, partially in order to escape from her cruel step-father to be. To avoid being a spoiler, I will stop now.
The film is in the Spanish language with English subtitles available. It is well executed (no pun intended). It is fairly gory and I do not recommend that children under 14 see it.