Pan’s Labyrinth, a movie review

A movie review written by: Lee Sonogan

1hr58min (2006) Drama, fantasy, war

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“Beautiful and exhilarating. A fairy tale for grown-ups.” – Roger Ebert. Chicago Sun Times

A movie entirely in Spanish while having the option for English subtitles. The writer and director Guillermo del Toro repeatedly said no to Hollywood producers, despite being offered double the budget provided the film was made in English. He didn’t want any compromise in the storyline and wanted to preserve the originality of his film. Guillermo del Toro first started writing ideas for the film in 1993. His film can be described as in the Spain of 1944, a young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.

Fun Facts about Pan’s Labyrinth:
  • Received 22 minutes of applause at the Cannes Film Festival.
  • In 2007, this film became one of the few fantasy films ever nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Oscars.
  • It has been said that, for the fairy eating scene, Doug Jones had to bite condoms filled with fake blood.
  • Guillermo del Toro gave up his entire salary to see this film become realized. To this day, he believes it was worth it.
  • Probably much more!

This one is definitely not meant for children as a lot of the scenes are graphic in nature. The film manages to be magical and beautiful while also being brutal and earthly. Even in the speaking language of Spanish, the actors are still able to deliver fantastic performances. Also having the war elements creates amazing drama in combination with the fantasy. The ending gives the viewer to possibilities at the same time. I recommend this film to people who are willing to see past the language barrier and people who are interested in the movie’s reviews. I watched this movie because many people regarded it very highly in reviews.

8/10

“Unrelentingly imaginative.” – Gene Seymore, New York Newsday

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