"Pan's Labyrinth" Bleeds Creativity

Genres: Art/Foreign, Science Fiction/Fantasy and Thriller
Running Time: 2 hrs.
Release Date: December 29th, 2006 (limited)
MPAA Rating: R for graphic violence and some language.
Distributors: Picturehouse

Directed by: Guillermo del Toro

JJ Rating: B+

Pan’s Labyrinth is a violent fairy tale that is told with creativity that is missing in movies today. Ofelia is a child that travels with her mother to where the Captain is stationed. The Captain is a violent man who is not kind to women or children but had happen to marry Ofelia’s mother after the passing of her father. Ofelia loves fairy tales and she brings along such books. She encounters a fairy who leads her into the labyrinth were her own fairy tail begins.

It is a movie that has subtitles so if that is something you can’t handle then don’t bother seeing the movie. I am not bothered by them. Someone told me to see this movie so that is my main motivation to see it. I didn’t particularly want to see it but after seeing it I am pretty happy that I listened.

I like fairy tales and I know that they are gruesome and that Disney took some and Disneyed them up. I’ve read about what really happens in Snow White and The Little Mermaid. Not that I don’t appreciate the realistic-ness of the originals but for children and for the sake of keeping fairy tales in it’s on genre and not horror---I like the Disneyed up versions better.

That brings me to what I thought of Pan’s Labyrinth. I thought it was creative and imaginative with the characters that were involved both within the fairy tale aspect and the realistic moments. The gloom that hovers around most of the movie was also well done. There is no happy brightness because what is going on through the movie is in no way joyous.

I think that Ivana Baquero did an excellent job as Ofelia. One of my favorite parts deals with her eating grapes. She doesn’t say anything but her facial expressions do all the work and it makes the scene a hybrid of drama and humor.

Just because it is a fairy tale does not mean children should go and see it. There are scenes that are graphic in violence. One deals with a man being beaten in the face with a bottle. Instead of pulling the camera away so as to block the hitting it pulls in and shows what damage is being done as it is being done. Another scene has the aftermath of a torture session and yet another shows someone’s mouth being torn with a knife. Even if you think that it won’t bother your kids I’m pretty sure no kid would enjoy seeing the movie. It doesn’t have anything that they would actually like…not even the fairies are something appeasing.

I like the ending. It did end like I thought it would but at the same time it ended well. It was not overly dramatic nor was it overly fairy tale-ish and it kept in line with the rest of the movie. It allowed the viewer to decide if what was happening was or wasn’t actually occurring. I like that.

Pan’s Labyrinth is not my kind of movie. I wouldn’t see it again, most likely, and if I did see it it would only be for parts that were most interesting to me. It might not be my kind of movie but I do realize that it was well done and that it’s different enough to be entertaining for one viewing. I’m not going to recommend that people rush out to see it but if you’re interested in seeing something that is not of the norm then this movie will provide you with that quite well.

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