So, Pan’s Labyrinth, or El Laberinto del Fauno, was released back in December, and it’s taken this long to reach Burlington (The only place that gets the good movies AND accepts a debit card for payment). Needless to say, I’ve been waiting to see this movie for a very long time, ever since the first trailer gave me chills back in August (?), sometime around then.
The movie is set during the end of the Spanish Civil War. In the opening scenes of the movie, we’re told that there’s a magical land below the earth from before humankind was around. A princess of the land wanted to see the sunlight and sky, and stole away to the surface, but was blinded and lost her memory – but legend said that she would return to the land.
From Yahoo (These sites can summerize movies more succinctly and better than I) Set in 1940s Spain against the postwar repression of Franco’s Spain, a fairy tale that centers on Ofelia, a lonely and dreamy child living with her mother and adoptive father, who is a military officer tasked with ‘ridding the area’ of rebels. In her loneliness, Ofelia creates a world filled with fantastical creatures and secret destinies. With Fascism at its height, Ofelia must come to terms with her world through a fable of her own creation.
The movie is beautiful, brutal and brilliant. There is clearly a lot of work that’s been put into this, as it’s incredibly well thought out, with a number of characters (really well done characters) and a story that left me on the edge of my seat the entire run time, which is rare nowadays. This isn’t your kid’s fantasy movie, for sure – this is something else entirely. In the days when fantasy epics like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter reign supreme, this movie undercuts them by bringing a much more human story to them – one that’s not driven by action or even magic, but by an intense notion of wonder and imagination and a sense of realism.
I’d highly, highly highly recommend this to just about everyone. There are some scenes that are hard to watch at times, (again, dark movie) but there are others that are just amazing to watch.
Chalk this up as a potential classic.