Pan's Labyrinth

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To what extent are techniques used effectively to integrate different storylines in a film you have studied.

Pan’s Labyrinth directed by Guellermo Del Toro is set in Spain 1944. Captain Vidal, the leading commander at the Mill is fighting the resistance, who fight for a Spain where people in power do not rule over the people. Captain Vidal’s pregnant wife Carmen is introduced with her daughter Ofelia. Del Toro has built the movie by balancing the brutal storyline of Captain Vidal and the fantasy that consumes Ofelia’s. Lighting, symbolism and editing were used to integrate the storylines and the idea of choice, imagination and empathy which Del Toro said are “Urgent in the world today.”

The editing techniques used in Pan’s Labyrinth, is distinctive in building and balancing the reality and fantasy within the film. The Narrative structure shows the balancing of the two storylines with every second scene showing an element of fantasy. The first few scenes as a viewer of the film, you are manipulated to believe that the fantasy elements are all in Ofelia’s imagination and therefore two narrative structures are established. As the film progresses the fantasy elements become more relevant and as a viewer we are able to accept that the fantasy elements are as real as anything else. To integrate the two storylines of Captain Vidal and Ofelia, Del Toro has created characters that mirror and link ideas. The most obvious of these is the Paleman. The Paleman mirrors Captain Vidal at the dinner party setting. He sits in front of a lavish table and is unable to see the spoils right in front of his eyes. His inability to see is a metaphor for Vidal’s ignorance and lack of empathy, again shown with the pile of children’s shoes, a direct reference to the Holocaust. In this scene the storylines of Ofelia and Vidal are integrated with Ofelia’s task to unlock one of the three doors in the fantasy world. This Parallels with the key Vidal uses to lock away the supplies in the...
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