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Pan's Labyrinth

Pan's Labyrinth Poster

Franco’s Spain at the end of World War II. A young girl and her mother travel to live with her mother’s new husband; a Captain in Franco’s army, fighting Republican guerrillas in the countryside. With this simple premise Pan’s Labyrinth soon turns into something almost indescribable. I want to use words like “beautiful” and “fantastic” but it is difficult to use them for a film as dark and gratutious as this. Make no mistake, this is not a pleasant film.

As the film goes on and the life of the young girl Orphelia, played by the excellent Ivana Baquero, becomes progressively worse she retreats into a fantasy world which leads the events of the real. The special effects are wonderful and do not impinge on the mix of fantasy and reality, even though the reality is often far more unpleasant than the fantasy.

Yes, it is dark, and yes I did have to close my eyes at some of the more graphic scenes, but despite all that this adult fairy tale is also beautiful and extremely well made – despite some plot points being driven by characters’ stupidity which always annoys. You really should go and see it if you haven’t already.

Published on 2006/12/16 at 23:49 by Toby, tags ,

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