Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) Film Review

With the astonishing 3 Oscars, 76 wins and 63 nominations, Pan’s Labyrinth has surely been a success. Director and writer; Guilliermo Del Toro beautifully captures a lovely story with memorable visuals.

The Spanish film, Pan’s Labyrinth follows the story of the young, bookworm Ofelia whom discovers a magical life through a labyrinth she finds nearyby. Finding it hard to fit in at her new stepfather, Captain Vidal’s house, she gets lost in this maze of magic where she has to accomplish three dangerous tasks. Meeting different creatures along the way, she comes to a conclusion that she is the puzzles missing piece – the kingdoms lost long princess.

Though will she pass these tests whilst looking after her ill mother and get past the eerie creatures?

Pan’s Labyrinth is a masterpiece.The plot being so enthralling and gripping, it leaves you glued to the screen. This magical tale is truly supported by its impeccable visuals, which are stunningly crafted through great CGI and animation effects. In particular the scene where Ofelia enters this enchanted tree is unforgettable.The hungry toad and its sliminess look so real and its disgusting features are profoundly so engaging. To add to this, the horrific, bold monster with its eyeballs in his palms and Ofelia’s helpful creature are both memorable characters in the film. Credits definitely should go the make up and costume crew for creating such stunning creatures who look so vividly real.

I can see you…

In comparison to the gritty fairy tale, the brutality portrayed through the Spanish war is complimenting. The film is very violent indeed; the shooting and fight scenes are extremely powerful. Vidal’s character played by Sergi Lopez certainly perpetuates this aggressive, stoic persona. He seriously portrays the anger through brutal actions by beating up innocent people and making aggressive decisions. The extremity and explicit imagery is what makes this film so gratifying. Thus, creating this binary opposition between the violence and fairy-ness, molding them together to create a stunning film is genius.

Ivana Baquero starring as Ofelia perfectly illustrates this innocence and childlike persona. Having said that, in terms of ‘childlike’, its more of that cute and subtlety shown through. She portrays this strong character who bravely undertakes each task whilst giving us a promising performance. Being intelligent, smart and caring, she beautifully conveys that special ambience.

Overall, Pan’s Labyrinth is a moving film filled with magical scenery together with intense brutality. The casts are very powerful and really pull the story together to convince each character’s feature. Moreover, the story itself is entirely engaging where each scene leaves you mesmerized, but also questioning at the end. Great script, powerful cast and strong direction, equals successful film.

Rating: 8.5/10

Written by: Meera Darji

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