PAN'S LABYRINTH  review
January 7, 2007 · Print This Article
One can tend to forget how dark fairy tales really are. Guillermo del Toro reminds us in PAN’S LABYRINTH, a dark green, earthy fairy tale of presuming Spanish origin, as the movie is entirely in Spanish (and a bit of Fairy). The fantasy world of a young girl is juxtaposed with the harsh adult world of soldiers and rebels fighting in the Spanish Civil War.
Yet the fantasy scenes made me feel less comfortable. When the movie cut back to the “real world” I would always feel a sense of relief. For in the latter world I knew the dangers and the worst that could happen, such as having your face smashed in, getting shot in the back, or being sent to bed with no supper! The fantasy world scenes in PAN’S LABYRINTH were all unknown to me, perhaps slightly reminiscent of tales I’ve heard, but I could not beforehand guess the dangers the movie’s young heroine would find herself in.
One may be accustomed to fairy tales having, well, fairy tale endings. I will of course not reveal the ending, but like I first said, one tends to forget how dark fairy tales really are.