Pan’s Labyrinth is destined to be a classic.
It has an enchanting story with a plot that deftly blends the fantastical elements of a fairytale with the violent backdrop of a war. Ofelia’s life doesn’t play out like a story of a predictable Disney princess, but as a true quest where she fails and learns.
Ofelia moves into the house of her tyrannical stepfather. She discovers a mysterious labyrinth and meets a faun in her path. She must accomplish three tasks to save herself and her mother.
She navigates between two well-designed worlds – a reality filled with the horrors of war, and an enchanting labyrinth that holds a promise.
The two spill into and reflect each other. As war surrounds her daily life she escapes into a bizarre world for hope. The creatures she encounters in the fantasy world are not far from her real world.
All the actors here are great as archetypal characters – the defiant maid, the noble doctor, and the cruel army captain. The lead steals the show from the more experienced cast, but the fantastical creatures stand out the most.
The practical effects made believable creatures. They’re surreal and ominous but you can tell that they’re not intentionally malevolent which makes them interesting.
Unlike most fairy tales, the movie ends with a twist on the happily ever after. Although the film is filled with stark images, you are left, for a moment heartbroken, and then hopeful.
Pans Labyrinth is both a great allegory and an epic fairy tale. It’s a tale about bravery, imagination, and the great escape.
El Laberinto del Fauno (Pan's Labyrinth)
Pan's Labyrinth is a fairy tale for adults where fantasy and reality mix into a dark yet hopeful dream.