Pan’s Labyrinth (Del Toro, 2006)

Pan's Labyrinth

Watched it last night, and it affected me more or less as it did the first time. The colours and special effects are glorious. The film is aMAZEing.. 😛

Okay, dad jokes aside, it’s pretty darn excellent, and Del Toro’s best. It weaves fantasy fiction and realism really well allowing for one to comment on the other: War kills imagination, Imagination provides respite from war. Transcendence is found in death, through sacrifice, what must be given to end war.

Ultimately, the story is about an innocent girl who dies during post-civil war conflicts. Regardless whether you take the underworld to be true or false, her death is real and presents a painful view into the atrocities committed during this time. Also into the psychology behind warfare and those involved in it: i.e. the Captain in particular.

Contrast is the film’s chief function as style, theme, art: light and dark, good and bad, reality and illusion, innocence and depravity. These contrasts observe with little pretense the psychology of wartime affects, made visible through the girl’s vivid imagination and self-discovery.

87/100 – Excellent

4 Stars

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About Kamran Ahmed

I have a Masters in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto. I work as a freelance writer and film critic in Vancouver. My writing is primarily distributed through Next Projection, an online film journal based in Toronto.
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