Saturday, January 06, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth (El Laberinto del Fauno)

I Don't Believe

A lot have been said about Pan's Labyrinth, and having critical praise from all many corners and circles, have piqued my interest in the movie. However, I was apprehensive as well, because by virtue of it being a fantasy like fairy tale, I suspect it was not up my alley, given my lack of sustainable interest during the screenings of recent movies of the same genre, made by prolific filmmakers like Terry Gillian's Brothers Grimm, or Mirrormask as scribed by the renowned Neil Gaiman.

True enough, I was bored with Pan's Labyrinth. Really bored. Not that it wasn't a beautifully made film. It is, and the sets and costumes all looked like no effort was spared in trying to recreate the 1940s Spain, as well as the fantastical elements in the storyline. It wasn't the story as well, as the worst thing that could happen is incoherentness and inconsistency. No such thing in the movie, and the pacing was tight too. Perhaps I didn't enjoy director Guillermo del Toro's vision for this particular movie?

Pan's Labyrinth tells the story of a little girl, Ofelia (Ivana Baquero), whose love is for the fairy tales she brings along with her pregnant mother, en route to live with her new stepfather. Things start to get interesting (for her at least), when a mystical faun comes visiting, and offers an illusionary life that she was supposed to be leading. Now, depending on whether you believe in fairy tales, or how much you'll allow yourself to be affected by, and buy into the plot, you'll be in either camp - if you do believe, then you'll find this a blast. Otherwise, like me, it seemed rather forced, and you'll prefer to look at it from the angle of psychosis.

I think because of past history that I don't believe in fairy tales anymore, so that innate fact took its toil when I was watching Pan's. I'd rather look at it from the angle that there's something totally wrong with Ofelia's mind, or to put it midly, she's got a wild imagination that allowed her to allude that she's seeing things, more like.

So I officially sanction myself, and state it clearly here. Every reviewer has their likes and dislikes. Mine unfortunately turned out to be movies of such a genre. I would love to have enjoyed it, but somehow it didn't turn out the way I would have liked it to be. So there you know my innate bias, so don't take my word for it, watch it to see if you share the same sentiments.

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