2006’s ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ – Guillermo del Toro’s imagination began to take shape in 1993 – is the transverse between reality and the unreal world.
The film is loosely based on the 1994 Spanish civil war, where the struggle of republicans won.
Encouraged by news of the Normandy landings and other setbacks for Franco’s allies Hitler and Mussolini, bands of anti-Franco fighters hide in the woodland. A squad of Franco’s soldiers, led by Captain Vidal (Sergi Lopez), a sadist posing as a severe military officer, is dispatched to the isolated area to hunt down the rebels.
The protagonist of the film is surprisingly a young girl named Ofelia (Ivana Baquero), the daughter from the first marriage of Carmen (Adriana Gil). She is the new bride of Captain Vidal, a ferocious Francoite who married her only for breeding purposes.
A widow, she’s married out of a void in her life; she’s now very much pregnant and is moved to the forest with the army ready to welcome them.
The character of the captain is established as a sadist, who brutally beats and kills two suspected rebels in the camp, which demonstrates his wicked status beyond question.
Ofelia, the young protagonist, is a voracious reader… But she hates her stepfather.
Since she also thrives in the hidden significance of her surroundings and the parallel dimension, she is never truly alone. In response to her stepfather’s neglect, she ventures into the wilderness and meets a hidden labyrinth beneath the house where a magnificent imaginary creature dwells. This astounding faun identifies Ofélia as an empress but instructs her that she must complete dreadful tasks in order to fulfil her destiny.
She accomplishes this secretly, without informing the adults of the weirdness living under their feet, the other world of her exploits.
The movie contains more double agents than only Ofelia, The doctor and maid have shady Republican tendencies which Ofelia learns but never reports since she doesn’t want to be held accountable for anyone’s misfortunes.
It ultimately helps her accomplish her purpose.
When Ofelia worries about her pregnant mother, the faun offers her a mandrake root to stow under the mother’s bed and feed on twice a day with two drops of blood. The mandrake is formed of earth, leaves, and wood, which even moves when it’s properly cared for. It’s like an ultrasound through the mandrake.
When her stepfather uncovers the mandrake and sets it on fire, the movie’s plot significantly shifts. The placenta and baby in the womb separate, the mother loses excessive blood and dies.
Ofelia is now an orphan as a result, although her brother still has his evil father as a guardian.
After a major ride through a few interesting paths, the Republicans take over the fascist and Ofelia finally reaches her original kingdom where she belongs.
Guillermo del Toro wrote, directed, and co-produced the 2006 Spanish-Mexican historical dark fantasy film titled Pan’s Labyrinth (Spanish: El Laberinto Del Fauno, lit. ‘The Labyrinth Of The Faun’), It premiered at the Cannes Film Festival opening on May 27, 2006, and received a 22-minute standing ovation.
What makes the film so special and powerful to the audience is that Guillermo del Toro has skillfully maintained consistency between the people and phenomena from other worlds and the actual reality of war in this movie, which is more about the film’s visuals than the narrative. In addition to this juxtaposition, del Toro also boldly angled a tragic ending with a soothing triumphant conclusion.
The movie Pan’s Labyrinth creates a dramatic contrast throughout, challenging the movie curves completely. There is a scene in particular where Ofelia is required to carry out a task, when she is attacked by a huge pale man whose loose skin dangles down in folds.
The movie may appear quite sluggish at first, but as the Faun is introduced, it picks up momentum. The stepfather’s brutality comes across as so natural that it gives the audience a sense of justice for the character that is portrayed. Credit must also go to Ofelia, who for a 12-year-old has done a fantastic job.
Besides , the background score team should be applauded for creating the ‘Pan’s Labyrinth Lullaby’ song for a dying child on Mercedes’ lap – it’s worth a cry.
The movie received high appreciation from critics. At the box office, it brought in $83 million and took home a number of honours, including three Academy Awards, three BAFTA Awards, Best Film Not in the English Language, the Ariel Award for Best Picture, and the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form. Since then, Pan’s Labyrinth has been hailed as Del Toro’s magnum opus, as well as one of the best movies of the 2000s and the 21st century, as well as one of the best fantasy movies ever made.
Platform and buying options to watch the ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’:
Apple TV, Amazon Video, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Microsoft Store, DIRECTV, AMC on Demand, Redbox, Vudu as download or rent it on Apple TV, Amazon Video, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Vudu, Microsoft Store, Redbox, DIRECTV, Spectrum On Demand online.