Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Finally, Pan's Labyrinth is out on DVD. I wasn't able to see it when it came out because it wasn't in wide release where I live. Well-- really it's because I couldn't convince my husband to go. If it doesn't have car chases it's not really his style. Anyway, I got the movie today in the main through Netflix (gotta love Netflix) and I just got done watching it. It's a beautiful movie, but it surprised me too. It's easy to get into the habit of watching American films and getting used to the American happy ending. Foreign films definitely aren't afraid to make bold statements and leave you in tears-- as I was with Pan's Labyrinth. The movie follows the story of a young girl named Ofelia who has traveled to the countryside of Spain with her mother, who has married a Captain in the Spanish Army. Ofelia's mother, already pregnant with the child of her new husband, tells Ofelia to call the man father, saying "it's just a word Ofelia, it's just a word." And with that we get a glimpse of the life Ofelia is headed into. But Ofelia understands the power of words and refuses to call the man father. Before long she retreats into a fantasy world where a faun, who may or may not be Pan, tells her she is actually the Princess Moanna and that she must complete three tasks in order to come into her inheritance. The movie alternates between the two worlds in a way that reminds me a little of Alice in Wonderland--albeit a darker version. Captain Vidal, Ofelia's stepfather, is chilling and much more menacing to me than any comic book villain a Spiderman movie has produced. But the movie really belongs to Ofelia, played by Ivana Baquero. She is the centerpiece of the film and in my opinion is amazing. She's never precocious or overly cute and I found her to be a believable heroine. So I would recommend that anyone who is looking for an alternative to the less than satisfying Spiderman, check out Pan's Labyrinth to get your fantasy fix. Though don't put it on when the children are watching, there are some disturbing scenes. This is definitely an adult fairy tale.