Pan's Labyrinth (2006) Movie Review
From the creative mind of Guillermo del Toro comes a timeless classic comparable to fairy tales and nightmares. Only his dreamy and fantastic mind can create something so magical and creepy.
Pan's Labyrinth is a testament to time and is considered by many as one of the best works by the renowned director.
The movie begins with a brief narration of a fairy tale about Princess Moanna, whose father is a king of the underworld. She visits the human world, gets blinded by the sunlight, and erases her memories. She eventually dies, and her father wants her spirit to return to the underworld, so he creates a labyrinth as a portal for her to return.
In 1944, a ten-year-old Ofelia and her pregnant but unwell mother, Carmen, visited Captain Vidal, her new stepfather. Vidal wanted to eradicate the Republican rebels and believed he had a certain political and ideological belief that he followed. One day, Ofelia spots a large stick insect which she believes is a fairy, and decides to follow it. The creature leads her to a labyrinth in the depths of the forest. One night while going to the mysterious place, she meets a faun that identifies her as the reincarnation of Princess Moanna. He gives her a book containing three tasks she needs to fulfill to acquire immortality and rule the kingdom.
Ofelia begins doing the tasks from the book. Each of them requires much effort, but her determination allows her to succeed.
Pan's Labyrinth is an exciting fantasy movie that offers both the feeling of fairytales and the darkness of a horror film. It dwells in the middle of excitement and uneasiness. Its unique concept is well-received by fans and critics and even marked this film as Guillermo del Toro's magnum opus. His creative mind enabled him to create an otherworldly experience like any other.
What's interesting about this movie is its tremendous world-building. The concept of a hidden world living beneath our own is not unique, but this film established it as one of its own. The amazing creatures, the labyrinth design, costumes, and many more. All of them were creative.
The story of Pan's Labyrinth is hard to conceptualize. It's not dreamy like a typical fairy tale. It's also not scary, like a good scary movie. However, it's satisfyingly good that it will leave you breathless. The film has a couple of slow moments, but they don't matter once you get into it.
Overall, I view Pan's Labyrinth as a family movie with a couple of lessons that teaches about life and other important things. It's not some movie that you want to skip.
A great 4.5 out of 5 stars.