Monday, 21 May 2012

Review: Pan’s Labyrinth

Written and directed by Guillermo del Toro, Pan’s Labyrinth tells the story of Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) who is caught between two worlds. One is the dark and twisted world of civil war in fascist Spain, the other is an eerie fantasy world of which she is the lost Princess.

Both worlds are dark and unrelenting, both worlds have their challenges and as a viewer there is part of you that won’t be sure which world you want Ofelia to end up with.

The imagination of del Toro is astounding. There is no one else that could have directed this masterpiece, no one that could quite have brought this world to life. There are clear influences from Jim Henson films such as Dark Crystal and, of course, Labyrinth however the dark twist that is shown here takes the fairytale to a new level. The kind of macabre truth that probably hasn’t been seen since the Grim Brothers collected their folktales together.

Within this story are a lot of tropes that people will recognise, the princess, the fairies, the challenges even a fawn meeting with a little girl in the woods. However these elements a juxtaposed by a violent story of resistance and a fight for survival and our heroine is caught in the crossfire.

The film is pacy, frightening, graphic, uplifting, harrowing and is able to completely transport you to another world in another time. Perfect. 

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