Today I was finally able to find a copy of Pan's Labyrinth, or El laberinto del fauno, at Video Ezy, and I must say that I really loved the movie. Here's a trailer for your viewing pleasure.
First of all, it was all in Spanish, and even though I did have the subtitles on, I kind of made an effort not to look at them as much as I could have done. Plus it was actual Peninsular Spanish, scripted as anyway, so it was a pretty good opportunity to kind of get used to the way things are done up in Spain.
Apart from that, it was just a real gem of a movie in my opinion. A lot of my friends said that it was a pretty weird film, and to be honest, they're right, it is kind of almost too unreal and then too real at times, but in a way I think that that works for the film. The kind of funny thing that came up with me when watching the film is how little i really cared about Ofelia, the young girl 'protagonist'.
In a sense, although she is essentially the driving force of the movie, it's slightly weird in a way that she often takes a back seat to the other characters in the film, especially Mercedes. Not that I'm complaining about it, it's really more of an observation than anything else. I know that there was definitely a two pronged story effect going on here, which really worked for the film as a whole, I just didn't really find myself as attached to the main character as I would have with other roles and movies, and even with the other characters in the film.
I suppose her lack of dialogue really doesn't help out that situation, she tended to have very little but very precise dialogue, which spurred on the movie. The fact that she's not a big talker really does work into her role though, in a way it's a perfect representation of what her character is in that film, kind of a bit off in her own world, apart from everyone else.
Regardless of any criticism I would have for the more technical parts, I think that it is an AMAZING movie, and is a definite must see. I really do think that it is a kind of fairy tale story for adults, which in a way is kind of refreshing. It is nice to have an element of fantasy to movies these days, without it going ridiculously over the top. I think that Guillermo Del Toro did an excellent job overall, and the actors and actresses in the movie gave amazing and solid performances. Even if you end up hating their character at the end of the movie, there is no denying that so much effort went in to making this movie a masterpiece.
I think the best thing about this movie though, or more like the cherry on top, is the fact that it doesn't really feel like a subtitled movie does. And I think that it's here where the sheer directness of the dialogue comes to the fore, because not only does it work in English, it also works in Spanish as well, which is something that is very hard to achieve. There can be really great films out there, but as soon as you subtitle them, they can kind of loose all their charm. Luckily, in this case, the story does not bear the grunt of any sort of translation shortcuts or blunders, and it just flows really well. You can really get lost in the movie even whilst reading the subtitles, and there are plenty of simply visual scenes which hold a lot of power in the plotline. I must say one of the best visual masterpieces I have seen in a very long time, and I really do recommend that you check this movie out, whether you speak Spanish or not.
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