Thursday, May 10, 2007

El laberinto del Fauno (Pan's Labyrinth, Guillermo del Toro, 2006)

El laberinto del fauno (Pan's Labyrinth, Guillermo del Toro, 2006)


The fairy tale that opens the picture--about a princess from an underground kingdom who wanders to the surface, can't find her way back, grows old, and dies--pretty much says it all: this is the story of a girl who was lost, and has since been trying to find herself. Or rather who felt lost, then fumbled her way to some form of self-assessment--what kind of person she is, what she will or will not do.

It's Spain, 1944; Franco's fascist regime has been in power for some years now. Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) is being driven along with her mother Carmen (Ariadna Gil) through miles of woodland to her new stepfather, Capitan Vidal (Sergi Lopez); Vidal welcomes his new wife--hugely pregnant with his precious new son--and stepdaughter, installs them in the old mill where he's staying, and continues on his sadistic business of hunting down and torturing the few diehard Republicans hiding in the surrounding mountains. Ofelia, mostly left to herself, explores the grounds of the mill, and an old labyrinth nearby; she encounters a giant faun (Doug Jones--he had previously acted out marine superhero Abe Sapiens in del Toro's "Hellboy") who explains to her that she's really the long-lost princess, and to regain access to her underground kingdom she must perform three tasks before the coming of the full moon.


Tejas said...

I watched the movie. I am not too sure why the movie was hailed so much. I mean it was a good one, but nothing extra-ordinary to be honest.

Director's depiction of world-war/civil-war era was near perfect. So was the lead actress's acting. It was a nice movie..but just a little too appreciate in my humble opinion.

Noel Vera said...

I did qualify my praise--I think Spirit of the Beehive is the far superior film. But if we're talking about some of the better films of the past year, this is much better than, say, Apocalypto.

Anonymous said...

hi noel,

can't keep myself from bringing this up, especially sa iyo pa! emman and i were talking about the film and di namin maiwasang ikumpara abg pan's labyrinth sa pangako ng puso ni mario o'hara, where the demons in real life are far more evil than any monster the imagination can conjure. we both agreed na o'hara's film is superior.