Critical Review of Pan's Labyrinth

Topics: Pan's Labyrinth, Guillermo del Toro, Fairy tale Pages: 3 (947 words) Published: September 25, 2008
In today’s society, fairytales are most commonly reserved for children. Our fascination for these incredible tales slowly dies out as we mature, and we replace our interests accordingly. This progression is clearly reflected in the films we choose to go out and see. Today’s adult moviegoers will almost always choose drama, comedy, and action genres over fantasy. Pan’s Labyrinth (Del Toro 2006) successfully brings fairytales back into the realm of adult cinema by combining horror and fantasy with the factual drama of the Spanish Civil War. This film is a rare treat, for it seamlessly blends historical reality with the supernatural. The combination of the two is so fluid that it is actually quite difficult to assign it to any sort of a genre. In today’s world, your average movie-going experience can be both bland and predictable, but I can assure you that this film is neither.

Pan’s Labyrinth tells a story of a little girl named Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) who moves into the countryside with her pregnant mother. They find themselves in the company of the antagonist Captain Vidal (Sergi Lopez) who is a high ranking official in the Spanish Army. Even though the onset of civil war hangs in the air, Ofelia finds herself consumed by a far different world. Early in the film, she encounters a fairy-like creature, which leads her away from reality into the world of fantasy. This magical creature lures her to the labyrinth of the amazing character Pan (Doug Jones) who is just as frightening as he is alluring. Pan truly sets the story in motion by explaining to Ofelia that she is in fact a princess of a mysterious underworld that closely parallels the land of reality. In order for her to return home and become an immortal part of this unknown kingdom, she is required to complete three tasks, all of which are amazing and horrific. Along the way, she struggles with these responsibilities, as well as the overwhelming presence of Captain Vidal. Through this process, Ofelia...
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