Pan's Labyrinth or in Spanish El Laberinto del Fauno is a dark fantasy movie released for the public in 2006. This movie became very famous world wide and won many awards. The movie is in Mexican Spanish language and was written and directed by a Mexican film maker Guillermo del Toro.
Our guest lecturer Dr. Deveny took us into the depth of this movie understanding even the smallest details that connect the real world with the fantasy or fairy tale world.
Pan's Labyrinth interweaves the real world with a fantasy world with the center a labyrinth and a mysterious foun creature. The movie takes place in Spain some years after the civil war during the Francoist period in 1944.The main character is a little girl Ofelia she meet several magical creatures who lead her though the labyrinth garden. Ofelia is a princes from another world who has come to this world by accident and she has to accomplish some tasks in order to go back to her magical world. Ofelia's step father Capitain Vidal is one of the most negative figure during the movie , he hunts Spanish Maquis who fights against the Fascist reign in the region. Ofelia's mother is a nice lady who gets sick during her pregnancy and dies after she gives birth to Ofelia's brother.
In this movie they are many dark side and a mix of the real world with the fantasy world which makes you confused which one is to follow. There are ,many indication connected to Ofelias fantasy that are connected to fairy tales. In order for Ofelia to go back to her real world where she is a princes she has to follow some tasks given by the faun. The faun in many situation you don't know if she should trust it or not.Ofelia undertakes some very dangerous tasks first she has three magic stones that she has to make a huge frog eat it in order for the frog to throw up a magic key. This episode takes place inside an old tree with many insect around but Ofelia is strong and not frightened by them.
She is supposed to complete all the tasks by the third day of the full moon. She also has a half moon as a birth mark in her left shoulder that will be crucial when she opens the little box at the monsters house. The number three same as in fairy tales is very present in this movie. The worst part and the most horrible one form me was when Ofelia has to go to this place and she should not eat anything from the table there is a monster with his eyes in the plates. Ofelia complete her task but after she could not resist to the food and ate a small grape . As soon as she ate the monster woke up put his eyes into his palms and went toward to eat Ofelia. The faun had given to her three little protectors while two where eaten by the monster .She survives this horrible task but the sequences were not as very pleased to watch.
In the end Ofelia dyes and she goes to her magic world where she ruled and became a blessed princes. In the real world she died the fascist were overthrown her step father was killed by the Spanish Maquis and her little brother was left in the hands of the good Maquis people.
This movie become very famous and won many awards as i previously mentioned by still i found it very dark and many of the scenes were very violent to watch. I would say this movie looked more as an horror than fantasy. Despite it the interaction between fantasy and the real world was a greta mixed. I would see it as a kind of escaping from the harsh environment of the war Ofelia goes into this fantasy world where she is a princes and every thing is beaitful and calm. The end of the move looks like the great world were she would be this princes is the after world when she dies so we have some kind of religious descripiton through the tale as well. Over all i would say i liked the move but i would not considered to be one movie to be seen for entertainment, to violent for my taste. The spanish language was great as it gave to the movie more magical effect i loved that . This absolutely not a movie for children but a fairy tale for gown up and you have to see it many times in order to understand many under themes that this dark fantasy movie holds.