Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Suolas and I watched Pan's Labyrinth last night. Del Toro has always been a favorite of mine ever since I seen Cronos and The Devils Backbone. And I was excited to see it on the big screen but one or two things got in the way but luckily it came out quickly enough on DVD. Quintessentially it is a fairytale and all fairytales are seeded in the darkest of forests, but Pan's Labyrinth emanates as one of the most enticing. The main heroine of the film is an impressionable eleven year old girl , Ofelia, whom with and her pregnant mother find themselves in harsh times , surrounded by conflict, violence and subservience.
Set after the Spanish Civil War on a backdrop of fascism, it's haunting visual presence contrasting with its sometimes harrowing displays of violence, is an inspired contradiction of innocence and corruption. It speaks of dangerous yet beautiful fantasy against deadly and ugly reality.. Fantasy is the pathway to salvation for the young Ofelia, with miniature winged fairies and a lofty, magical faun with massive curled horns, who entices her to visit the mysterious labyrinth at the bottom of the garden. Powerful images and themes disturb and stimulate as fantasy and reality come face to face - Without giving away the whole damn film plot though all I can say is that the story emerges to be a beautiful and surreal fairy tale we rarely get to see in contemporary films. Del Toro deserves more recognition for his artistic storytelling but I would hate to see hollywood rape this beautiful little tale like they did with the bastardisation of so many other international movies.