Jilara (jilara) wrote,

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Pan's Labyrinth

I haven't posted on this until now, though I saw it a week ago, because of No Time. However, this has got to be the BEST film of 2006. A lot of critics agree with me.

It is a tale in the best tradition of the Brothers Grimm, and grim it is. A child of Ofelia's age would probably have nightmares from seeing it. Its parallel stories of the real world and Ofelia's journey to live with her brutal fascist Evil Stepfather, vs. a world of wild magicks where she might be the lost daughter and savior of the Otherworld...or maybe not, present challenges of ethics and humanity. This is no "fairytale" world, but a "faerie" one, where nature elementals live by their own rules and powers, even as Ofelia's stepfather the Commandant. Its issues are as complex, and as troubling, as Princess Mononoke, and much more brutal. Its unflinching look at a world consumed by the Spanish Civil War, and a world tree where an evil toad has taken up residence in the roots, choking its life-force, is both allegory and reality-as-allegory. It is indeed a labyrinth, with strange turnings in which one could be lost forever.

Not precisely a spoiler, but it is left to the viewer to figure out if the "good guys" win in the end or not, because both worlds are complex, and "winning" is not as simple as it appears. Perhaps, as in Jet Li's "Invincible," or comparable Chinese tale-tellings, it is enough to have played the game according to one's best efforts...

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