Today I will be reviewing Guillermo Del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth." Del Toro has been known to direct imaginative and compelling worlds, but not come so close to perfect as his dark fairy tale Pan's Labyrinth.
It starts off as a fantasy where we learn of a princess of the underworld who was curious about the human world, so she goes up to the human world and suffers from the sunlight and disease and soon dies afterwards. We then learn that she is said to be reborn and will then rightfully take her place next to the king and queen as princess. After this quick fairy tale we are introduced to a young girl named Ofelia and her mother heading to her evil soon-to-be stepfather's mill where he is leading a fascist army against rebels who are lurking in the mountains nearby. While Ofelia is at the mill she meets a cast of characters, one being the compassionate housekeeper Mercedes. But later she finds a fairy who takes her into a labyrinth where she meets a faun who informs her that she is the resurrected princess who must complete three tasks before the full moon if she wishes to become princess once again.
From here we are taken on a dark and compelling adventure through both the fantasy world and the real world. Many stories are going on to Ofelia's mother being sick and pregnant, to her stepfather, Vidal, fighting off the rebels. But they all tie in so smoothly that they help with the movie's development and are quite vital to the story. You are intrigued by the entire story from start to finish with a somewhat happy ending, or at least as happy as this ending can get for such a dark story.
The acting is superb. Ivana Baquero is fantastic as Ofelia. She plays the character as a strong, young girl and she doesn't get annoying or childish like most kid characters. You root for her from beginning to end. Doug Jones, although he doesn't actually speak for his characters, gives them such great and abnormal movements that they don't seem like a man in a costume. Segi Lopez also plays his character, the evil Captain Vidal, very well to where you hate him from the very moment that you meet him. And you continue hating him, and possibly hate him even more, as the movie progresses. The acting is just great and it really helps keep the story interesting.
The story is fantastic. Although it may seem like it's been done before like with Alice in Wonderland, it has never been told in such a dark way. Del Toro made sure that his adult fairy tale remained dark and mature. He keeps every scene dark and mysterious and the characters are also very dark and have many layers. Excluding Ofelia's mom the characters are also very strong minded and fight for what they believe is right. They are interesting and help the story remain interesting as well.
The soundtrack is also very good. Everything is great about it. It is still very fantasy-like, but also very dark. It goes well with the story and the themes. It continues with the darkness that this movie is trying to get at.
If you unserstand spanish then this is a great film to watch. If you don't speak spanish I still highly recommend this movie, read the subtitles. This is not a movie to miss. I say go out and buy this movie it's a great movie to have in your movie collection. It's not cheesy like the Disney fairy tale movies, this is a mature and complex movie and it is definetly worth your time to see.