Sunday, March 11, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth

El Laberinto del Fauno

Cast and Crew

Directed by Guillermo Del Toro

Writing Credits:

Guillermo del Toro

Pan .... Doug Jones

Ofelia .... Ivana Baquero

Captain Vidal .... Sergi Lopes

Ariadna Gil .... Carmen

Maribel Verdú .... Mercedes

Álex Angulo .... Doctor

The Pale Man .... Doug Jones

Best Movie 2006 == National Society of Film Critics
Oscars :
Art Direction Winner
Cinematography Winner
Makeup Winner
Foreign Language Film Nominee
Music (Score) Nominee
Original Screenplay Nominee

Pan's Labyrinth may be too cruel and bloody for children, although kids would surely appreciate its exquisite yuckiness. But this R-rated poetic fable is nonetheless set in a child's archaic reality, a magic world of ancient ruins and "fairy" insects. It's more like Alice in the wonderland, but of course from the darkest fantasmo side.

Pan's Labyrinth setting at Spain 1944: The civil war is over, and Franco's Falangists have long since subjugated the country. The Maquis, last remnants of Republican resistance, are fighting a rearguard action in the forested northern hills. Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) and her ailing, pregnant mother (Ariadna Gil) have been relocated there, to a remote military base commanded by her new stepfather, Capitán Vidal (Sergi López), a cold and brutal autocrat.

With her mother growing ill and her stepfather treating her like a dog, Ofelia retreats more and more inside the elaborate fairy tales she treasures dearly.In the mountains just beyond the villa, Capitán Vidal seeks to wipe out an anti-fascist militia that is fighting a rear-guard action against the facisme. Since Ofelia is understandably repelled by her surroundings and Vidal, who she refuses to call “father”, she immerses herself in fairy tales just as youngsters have done since time immemoria imagination. But when a trip within a crumbling stone labyrinth just on the edge of the forest reveals a world the little girl never expected, the line between fantasy and reality begins to blur. Soon the child finds herself on a quest putting her own life in danger, yet one she also knows could save the life of a brother she as of yet doesn’t even know.

One night Ofelia is visited by a fairy that originally appeared to her in the guise of a dragonfly. Unlike the winsome creatures in a Disney animation, the fairy in Guillermo del Toro’s much heralded new film has a slightly menacing aspect, complete with flapping wings that give off a creepy mechanical sound like the tail of an aluminum rattlesnake. The fairy leads Ofelia into a dank grotto beneath the villa that is ruled by a repulsive-looking 10 foot tall faun (half-man, half-goat) who instantly hails her as the princess, and to proove her as a princess, she must be passed some test, that set her to the deadly adventurer, from meet the giant frog,which is swallowed the key of kingdom, meet Pale Man the monster who always eat kids for dinner, with eyes on his palm, and she had a magic chalk, that possible her to make a door to save her life.

Of the actors, Sergi López (Devil wears Prada) is miraculous here. His is a monstrously terrifying depiction of fascist evil. López making Captain Vidal a creature so horrible even the fantasy critters populating Ofelia’s thoughts would run screaming from him if they could. Other strong performances, not just from relative newcomer Ivana Baquero, but also from Maribel Verdú (wild mama in Y'tu'mama tambien)as the villa's housekeeper Mercedes, who plays a key role in the story's resolution.

The perfect camerawork by del Toro's regular cinematographer Guillermo Navarro and the production design, which uses a limited color palette to give the real world a colorless grey look compared to the colorful fantasy sequences. Javier Navarette provides an equally gorgeous score to embellish the epic nature of the film. the CG effect is perfectly gothic, every creatures, and my favourite scene when capitan vidal, try to sew his mouth with a needle, after cutted by her housekeeper, that bloody scene was so horror but far from when i see the saw III.

Collectively, filmmakers Guilermo Del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro González Iñárritu, the self-described “Tequila Gang,” are having the kind of year many in Hollywood dream about yet seldom achieve. Cuarón’s “Children of Men” is the best film of they year, while Iñárritu’s “Babel” is one of my favourite for oscar winner, but i'm wrong. Together this trio has released some of the most urgent, intelligent, entertaining and richly-layered pictures of the 2006, Del Toro’s masterpiece “Pan’s Labyrinth” certainly no exception.

Guilermo Del Toro said on IF magazine:There is a Basque poem that says: “He was such a poor man that all he could have was money!” We live in a world, a society that makes you believe you need the big house, the big car, and the big bank account. But truly what you need is love and love you cannot buy. In my films I always try to be spiritually inspiring and this is also true with PAN’S LABYRINTH. I think this particular movie stands on its own because it’s the only one that is full of love from the beginning to the end.