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Pan’s Labyrinth [El laberinto del fauno] (2006) Mini Film Review

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Going back to the year 2006, where acclaimed Director Guillermo del Toro released a dark fantasy film that perhaps has been one of his most popular works, we are here to visit it to see if the quality of storytelling and filmmaking still able to match the current films. The film is in Spanish, and it features the then young actress Ivana Baquero as the lead. Let’s take a look at how the review goes!

 

Premise

The basic premise is set in post Civil war Spain, where Ofelia and her mum meets her stepfather deep into the woods near the battlefield. Unknown to herself, Ofelia is actually a reincarnation of the daughter of the King of the Underworld. She lost her memories and turn to mortal as sunlight touched her a long time ago. One day, while travelling around the area, Ofelia sees a stick insect which transforms into a fairy that brings her to a labyrinth, where she meets Pan, the faun that gives her three tasks to accomplish for her to return to the Underworld. However, with the battle still ongoing, will Ofelia ever be able to complete the tasks before it’s too late?

Screen Shot Pan's Labyrinth film
When you are in both a bad and good dream…

 

Review

This is a fcking dark film that has a healthy dose of both fantasy and realism. With the setting set during the Civil War itself, Pan’s Labyrinth sets itself apart from other films of the fantasy genre. The whole narrative follows Ofelia as she tries to complete each task while also ensuring that her mother is safe…and that her stepfather may become a threat to them at any time. The production value and set designs are of very high quality and many of the creatures are imposing with pretty original concepts. Many of them, especially the Pale Man, gives such an impact that they remain in your memories, haunting you as you recall the scenes. It’s the Director’s vision of the film that enables such film to be etched in your mind forever as you recall the classics.

Even though the protagonist is a young girl, the film does not depict this as a kid’s film at all. In fact, you will see blood, gunshots, murders, and killings right near the start of the film till the end. The soundtracks are haunting and filled with sadness, where the war causes loss of life and many innocents have to be sacrificed. This film does a subtle take on depicting how humans can be as scary or even worse than the monsters. Ofelia’s stepfather is able to kill anyone mercilessly, just like how the Pale Man hunts down his victims. However, the antagonist is not all one-dimensional, as he strives to save his own son, not for love but for pride. It questions us how we are our own worst enemy and that selfless sacrifice is the ultimate form of courage and kindness.

 

 

Pan's Labyrinth review post image
Pan’s Labyrinth [El laberinto del fauno] (2006) Mini Film Review
Story
Pacing
Characters
Soundtrack
Reader Rating0 Votes0
What's good
Dark moody creepy atmosphere
High quality production
A narrative that depicts both the good and bad of humanity
Great blend of fantasy and realism with metaphorical scenes
Complex character relationships
Tight, well controlled pacing
What's bad
Can be a bit too complex
4.3
Dayum!
A dark film that is filled with metaphorical scenes.
This is perhaps one of the best Guillermo del Toro infusing realism and fantasy. Its plot is complex with a dark atmosphere and filled with complex characters. Watch it!

 

Author Details
An everyday guy who is the founder of Controller Companies. He started it when he was frustrated to find that the stuff he bought had no reviews available online. Thus, this website is created with the sole purpose of reviewing stuff that he has seen, bought, used or enjoyed! Now, he is probably doing another review while you are reading this.
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Anthony L Tjandra
An everyday guy who is the founder of Controller Companies. He started it when he was frustrated to find that the stuff he bought had no reviews available online. Thus, this website is created with the sole purpose of reviewing stuff that he has seen, bought, used or enjoyed! Now, he is probably doing another review while you are reading this.
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