Friday, October 08, 2010

But captain, to obey - for obedience's sake... without questioning... That's something only people like you do.-Doctor in Pan's Labyrinth

A child's world is more confused than happy especially when they are unable to comprehend some of things that go on in the adult world. But their fertile imagination more than makes up for it. I do remember as a kid, wondering what the adults are fighting about and then letting it not bother me by locking myself in the world of 'Enid Blyton'.

Ofelia, in Pan's Labyrinth,is no different.As she faces the world of her step-father,pregnant mother in the grim backdrop of Spanish Civil war, she escapes into her imaginary world.
She follows a Faun in the quest for eternal life which leads her to a labyrinth with mythical creatures.
Spanish writer-director, Guillermo Del Toro, excels in spinning a tale which is at once dark and enchanting.He has a unique and indigenous voice, his creatures are frightening - like the Pale man with eye-balls in his hand , the faun, a giant toad and Pan(a creature that is half goat and half-human)- as well as fascinating.

Like any fairy tale, there are allegorical references with philosophical undertones.The faun is an ambiguous creature whom we feel Ofelia should not trust but Ofelia undertakes adventurous tasks ordered by the faun.
When she asks him “Who are you?”, he replies “I’ve been called so many names that only the wind and the trees can pronounce. I am the the mountain, the forest, the earth. I am … a faun.” He then continues: “It was the moon that bore you. And your real father waits for your return, but first, we must be sure that you have not become mortal”.

This is the allegorical reference to the choices we make in life and the consequences of it.Also Ofelia believes that she is the reincarnation of a princess and she must re-discover herself in order to achieve immortality.Inspite of a foreboding ending, the belief of an after-life is what keeps the spirit positive.

Even if you are someone who does not like to watch fantasy film, you must watch this because the fantastical world appears to be an extension of the real world until they get interlinked and present a mosaic of an amazing fairy tale

1 comment:

Arvind Swarup Pathiki said...

your reviews are make very engaging reads. yes, the ending of the movie is a bit sad and as you said, it is the hope of afterlife that makes you feel not completely terrible. but on the other hand one tends to wonder if it was all in the child's mind and she just died finally? (apologies to your other readers if this is a spoiler)
and isnt the performance of the villain chilling? did you not find it in the lines of Ralf Finnes's Amon Goth in Schindler's list?