Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Wednesday Review: Pan's Labyrinth

This week’s Wednesday Review is a film that’s right up my alley for film genres. This week I’ll be covering the film Pan’s Labyrinth. Set in Spain of 1944, a girl escapes the fascist country into a world of fantasy. Now, I’ve never seen this film, but I hear it’s brilliant. I do however know that it is in Spanish with English subtitles, so I’ll be reading the movie instead of watching it, which I never like because it takes my attention away from the film itself. But there is not much I can do about it so I’ll just jump right into the movie now.
Pan's Labyrinth Title Card

Review after the break. 

The film starts off with a little texted into to the current timeframe of the film. We then cut away to a girl, who appears to be dying, as blood spills from her nose. Her hand appears to be bloody as well. As the camera zooms into the girl the blood flows back up into her nose, she appears to be healing. The camera zooms into her eye and we are taken into an underground realm (according to the narrator) who tells a tale of a princess who wished to see the human world while we get to see her world. We’re then taken to the present day ... er I mean 1944 ... as the narrator tells us that the princess’s soul will return to the underground realm in another body, and we’re shown the main character Ofelia, who I’m willing to bet has the soul of the princess.

I giant bug flies out of a stone carving and she tells her mom it was a fairy. Apparently bugs are fairies in Spain?

That’s a spooky archway into what appears to be a labyrinth. And where’d her hat go? Did I miss it falling off? I probably did.

That bug is annoying. It better turn out to be a talking bug. Or an awesome monster thing disguising itself as a bug.
Evil good guy is evil.

I’m a bit confused here. The servant of the captain, Mercedes, is telling the doctor that someone’s leg wound is getting worse. This man obviously is not connected to the captain in any way as Mercedes and the doctor are talking in hurried whispers. Are they secretly keeping a wounded enemy hidden in the house or something?

WTF? Why is that stupid bug in her story?! And hold on! Is the fantasy aspect, the crazy monsters, and all that awesome stuff, are they only in stories this girl tells? Because that is not as cool as if they were actually real!

And why has there been no opening title card for me to screen cap and use here?

I swear I’ve heard that story about the rose before.

Wait a minute. So she starts telling a story about a rose, and we see a rose on the screen. Then the stupid bug zips by and next thing I know we’re back in the bedroom as she tells the story. So does the stories she tells come to life? Or was the rose just some really stupid decision put in the movie? I’m so confused on that.

RRAAAA!!! The text is disappearing before I can read it all! This is why I hate having to read movies.

HOLEY SHIT! The captain just smashed a guy’s face in with a bottle!

Holey ... that bug just shape shifted into a fairy. Interesting. It’s still annoying though.

Alright kid, you’re going into the labyrinth, just make sure you know your way out.

Wait, wait, wait! How is it that she can just wander out of the house and across the yard without being caught and brought back into the house by one of the many guards patrolling the area?

Alright, the girl gets a magic, future showing book from a creepy looking faun. I like the Narnia ones better.

The writing in the book might make more sense to me if I could read Spanish ... or if they gave us subtitles for what the writing says.

Did Mercedes just hide a knife in her dress? What’s her game?

“Do you want some milk with honey?” Who puts honey in milk? Or is this just bad translation?

People don’t show random stuff in movies. Unless their an idiot. Everything ha sit’s purpose. I trust that showing a ribbon fly off her dress is important.
It's the princess and the frog!

I see ... Mercedes is helping the enemy. I really feel no different about that. I could care less about this war ... thing ... going on ...

Whatever came out of the giant toad ... that was really gross.

The dress is ruined. Mom won’t be happy.

There’s that stupid bug again. No longer a fairy. God I hate that bug.

The faun is avoiding her question. HE’S EVIL! I really have no idea, I just like doing that.

Wait he is evil! Mercedes said not to trust fauns! He’s no Mr. Tumnus that’s for sure.

WTF? How did that faun get in her house? Wait, let me guess, magic.

Oh God, I really do not want to see a guy getting his leg cut off. Please tell me they leave that off screen.

Oh GOD! They did!

Oh man! Is that that thing with eyes on its hands? I’ve wanted to see that thing all movie!

Y U NO listen to faun? Y U NO follow fairies?

Y U NO listen to faun? Y U eat food?

Huh ... I just realised those fairies sound like Abu from Aladdin. Is Frank Welker in this movie too?!

Ofelia you are not wearing your protective earmuffs! That Mandrake may be young and its cry won’t kill you yet, but it will knock you unconscious for several hours!
You wanna know how I got these scars?

AHH! They sliced through his hand! They showed in on camera! Gross! This movie is bloody violent!

YEAH! Mercedes kicks all kinds of ass!

You know how I got these scars?

Well now that I’ve seen the end, the beginning makes sense.

So ... who exactly is Pan? Is that the name of the faun? Or is it just like bad translation and should actually be called Faun’s Labyrinth?

This is a fantastic film, though not as much fantasy happening here as I had hoped. Something I’ve noticed about films is that Hollywood films have a certain style that other films do not. Since this film was not Hollywood it had a more interesting visual style, plot, ending, and characters. The villain of the film was compelling and was someone you hated. The main character was innocent and naive, which I personally dislike, but it worked for the character and the film itself. There was a lot of contrast between colours used in the film. A lot of the time it switched between bright yellows and dark blues. The ending went where I was expecting it to, but the path there was not what I was expecting. This is both good and bad, but more good I think.

Usually I add some reference to a line in the movie when giving my rating, but due to the fact that it was all in another language nothing is popping out at me so I’ll go with another line from another film. 8/10 of course it’s happening inside your head, but why should that mean it’s not real?
You are no Mr. Tumnus.

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