By Jordan Hansgen
I was late to the party for this film, 10 years to be exact. However, I was so impressed by it and enjoyed it so much that I feel the need to discuss it in this post. Guillermo del Toro’s amazing work Pan’s Labyrinth parallels the harsh world of early fascist Spain and an original fairy tale world created by del Toro himself for the film.
The story is about Ofelia, a girl who moves with her pregnant mother to live with her stepfather Captain Vidal. Vidal is fighting rebels in the Spanish countryside around his home and is ruthless and horrible. At the mill, Ofelia journeys into a labyrinth and in the fairy tale world of the story, she meets the fawn, who gives her tasks to complete in order to return as the princess to another world.
Her mother dies in child birth and the fawn instructs Ofelia for the final task to shed the blood of an innocent to return to her kingdom. Ofelia refuses to not hurt her brother and is killed by Vidal in the labyrinth. Vidal is then captured and gives the baby to the rebels. He asks them to tell him who his father is, but they say the boy won’t know his name and shoot him. Ofelia sees a vision of her new kingdom just before her death, as her defying the fawn was the final test implying that she did make it to the kingdom.
The story does an excellent job of linking the two worlds. The dangers that arise for the rebels as they are attacked and tortured by Vidal is paralleled to the increasing levels of danger for Ofelia in the tasks given to her by the fawn.
The other amazing parts of the story is the artistic beauty of the film and the score. The main theme is beautiful and sad and fits the film perfectly. The film also has beautiful scenery of the Spanish countryside.
This film is a masterpiece and although it is sad, I truly recommend it to any film fans. The most important factor though is that you must watch it in spanish with english subtitles rather than English dubbed version.