- Title Pan's Labyrinth
- Director Guillermo del Toro
- Year 2006
- Run time 1hr 59m
- Genres War, Drama, Fantasy
- Tagline What happens when make-believe believes it's real?
Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) is a young girl in a remote mountain village in Spain in 1944 after Franco's ascension to power. To escape the upheaval and hardship her family faces (her father died in the war and her mother (Ariadna Gil) has been forced to re-marry to a despotic Captain in Franco's fascist army), Ofelia creates a world in her mind. It's a beautiful place though not without its dark side but she's guided by a ghastly yet kindly fawn creature.
During the Children in Need evening, film aficionado Bassano said he would donate to the cause if a few of us watched some films. Mine was Pan’s Labyrinth, a movie I had barely even heard of beforehand. It took me a week or two to squeeze it into my schedule but I found time yesterday - I wasn’t at all sure what to expect.
2:04 - It doesn’t look like it’s hard to escape though. There’s a big ol’ staircase. 4:11 - I would like to wear a beret. Hats do not suit me though. 5:17 - That big bug is a fairy? Interesting. 7:03 - Ooh, “Si, Senor.” I didn’t need that bit translated. 9:01 - Is sick with baby her way of describing pregnancy, or is she actually sick? 9:43 - She does actually seem quite sick. 13:11 - How does she know it is a brother, they didn’t have ultrasound in them days. 15:02 - I should watch more films with subtitles. I like to read and I can refresh my Spanish! 16:44 - Gross. I think we get the point. Not a nice man. 20:19 - Brave little girl. She didn’t even flinch walking down a staircase into a big black hole. 21:45 - “Old names that only the wind and the trees can pronounce.” 27:08 - It’ll have to be a long bath if the book is going to write itself there and then. 30:36 - In that dress, she now looks exactly like Alice in Wonderland. 31:37 - She looks a bit scared this time, though. Crawling through a tree is scarier than a staircase to nowhere, clearly. 34:56 - Ewwww. Gross toad gunk. 45:33 - The book doesn’t always show you what you want. Kinda the opposite of the psychic paper. 46:24 - It’s raining now. That’s always a bad sign. 53:00 - He’s just going to do it with a big saw? Blimey. 54:23 - If you can draw your own door, wouldn’t you make it so you didn’t have to crawl through? 1:00:01 - I was about to say a human couldn’t possibly pull themselves up out of a trapdoor like that, but then again… if something like that was chasing you, you’d probably make the effort. 1:11:19 - Ugh, always with the torture. 1:19:05 - She’s up and talking, it’s not like the root is doing her any harm. What’s he so mad about? 1:21:06 - My god, is anyone going to survive this film? 1:26:51 - Sort of saw that coming. “It’s nothing, don’t worry,” is one of those phrases that people shouldn’t use in movies. 1:33:00 - They came back! 1:34:29 - Goodness, how do you act sewing up your own face? 1:42:59 - Don’t think he’s going to be able to win this one. 1:44:00 - Who shoots someone in the cheek? Of all the places to choose from.
I wasn’t really sure what to make of it to start with - it seemed to be two distinct parts. The fairy tale aspect, with Alice in Wonderland exploration and creatures, and then the horror of real life, with gruesome torture and many, many deaths. Who is that meant to be aimed at? Despite the bleak story and the ultimately very depressing ending, it was a fascinating watch. I enjoyed the subtitles and the fantasy aspect was fabulous. I did like it, but I don’t really know how to put it into words.
Rating: 3 / 5