Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pan's Labyrinth (2006) review


I've been waiting to see this acclaimed work of Del Toro for a long time, and now that I have seen it, I have to say that it's definitely like nothing I've seen.

PLOT:During the Spanish Civil War around 1944, 10-year-old Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) has traveled with her pregnant mother (Ariadna Gil) to live with her tyrannical stepfather, the Captain (Sergi Lopez). Ofelia has always been a heavy bookworm, but her parents haven't been real appreciative of it lately. They think she should grow up. However, this storybook world Ofelia has created influences her future. She finds her way down to the labyrinth outside her quarters and meets a mysterious creature known as the Pan (Doug Jones), a faun. This creature tells her that she used to be princess of the underworld in a past life, and that she can regain her place on the throne if she completes three perilious tasks. It seems decently easy, but her mother's getting violently ill from the baby, the war outside is getting rough (especially with secret spies running around), and the Captain is getting rougher. Even more complicated, what if this world's just a fantasy inside her head? It's a great plot executed brilliantly.

ACTING:The performances in this film are done very well. I think Ivana Baquero played a pretty respectable part as Ofelia. She played childlike emotions in such a way that it fit in with the whole feeling of the film. The other shiners would be Sergi Lopez as Captain Videl, Maribel Verdu as Mercedes, Doug Jones as Pan and the Pale Man, and Alex Angulo as the Doctor.

SCORE:The score was very well done as it was composed of various themes and lullabies put together by Javier Navarette.

EFFECTS:One thing I really liked about the effects for this film is that for the most part, they looked real. The bugs, giant toad, pale man, and even Pan himself all looked mind-boggingly real. Needless to say, they are very well done.

OTHER CONTENT:This film is truly a work of art on Del Toro's part. It's a beautiful, emotionally-packed, well-edited allegory to war through the eyes of a minor. The film is shot in such a way that it comes off as a work of art. It's packed with a whole tangle of different emotions felt throughout the entire film: sadness, wonder, mystery, anticipation, terror, etc. It's truly an emotional film on its own. Guillermo del Toro definitely put a touch upon editing the film, for each scene is shot with as much precision as Speilberg does in America. The main thing that makes this film great is the meaning. It's a tale of war taught through a child's eyes. All the violence and trauma the war has caused has even caused the fantasy-land in her head to turn dark. Each event in her life draws a different event in her fantasy whatever it may be. If you guess right, you can infer the only way for her to find peace. However, the audience is never quite sure if the magic existed or if it really was all inside her head. Either way, it's a very touching comparison to the war. There are a few moments where it can become predictable, but everything else overall makes up for it. This truly is a horrific fantasy for adults.

OVERALL,an epic dark fantasy with a brilliant plot, very well done performances, very well done score, realistic effects, the effect of real art, emotional variety, precision editing, and a touching comparison to war, even if it can get predictable.

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