El Laberinto del Fauno

Otherwise known in the US as Pan's Labyrinth. Interesting movie. I went to see it this weekend with my wife. My wife is not a fan of movies about how the bad times got worse, so she wasn't terribly enamored of the film. I, on the other hand, can appreciate a good wallow in misery now and again, and I liked the film quite a lot. I also would contest that it is ambiguously tragic. If you're the glass-half-full type, you might even be able to talk yourself into believing it had a happy ending. Kinda Piano-esque.

The film is about a young girl trapped in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. As a hobby, she escapes into the woods with a faun to perform quests to prove she's really a fairy princess. Don't let the cutsie synopsis fool you. The film was very effective at keeping me on the edge of my seat. Imagine Labyrinth meets The Ring.

The acting was excellent. The effects were excellent. The characters were engaging. The creatures were wonderfully imagined. The depth of the story was also excellent. There is a nice parallel between the girl's fantasy world and the real world she's escaping. I also really appreciated the ambiguity of the story. Was it happy or was it sad? The film offers no proof either way.

I actually found the film more than a little reminiscent of Nochoi Dozor, as both films deal with a hidden world and an unclear balance between good and evil. And, of course, they're both subtitled.

I give the movie an A. It was not life-altering, but I would definitely pay to see it again.

Comments:

I'm glad you liked the movie and I agree with what you said. To me, its the best movie I've seen so far this year.

Posted by Jason on February 12, 2007 at 08:46 AM PST #

It was not the World War II but the spanish civil war (1936-39), but it's easier for a foreigner to make the substituion: s/falangista/nazi and s/maqui/resistence/ I didn't like it too much, but it's well-done.

Posted by Samuel on February 12, 2007 at 07:40 PM PST #

I was mislead. The Yahoo! Movies description says the movie is set in 1940's Spain, and during the scene at the rebel camp, they read a newspaper which talks about what Eisenhower's up to.

The aftermath of the civil war makes much more sense. I didn't really understand what chasing out the communists had to do with WWII.

Posted by Daniel Templeton on February 13, 2007 at 12:29 AM PST #

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