- Pan's Labyrinth
Last sunday, the Student Cinema showed Pan’s Labyrinth, which was the biggest success (with 465 people for both viewings combined). The movie has six Academy Awards nominations, including best foreign movie, and quite frankly, it deserves them.
The action is set in 1944, in Franco’s spain, where a little girl, Ofelia, encounters a world of magic that is dying – and has a number of tasks to accomplish to save it. In the same time, her father, capitain in Franco’s army, tracks rebels down with quite some violence; and her mother has a difficult pregnancy.
The CGI and the photography are both superb, and so is the acting. The story itself is quite interesting, but reminds of other classics – such as Narnia, via Ofelia – and the main story seems to be, by all standards, a fairy tale (there’s even fairies: there!). We have all the elements: a series of tasks, failures, monsters, mythical animals, and the capitain, the baddie, who becomes even more so when his cheek is cut.
But there’s more to it than that. A political movie about resistance (passive or active), about Spain under Franco; a tale of violence and of pain, even more than in the classic children’s tales. And in the end, there is a message (I’m talking about the “most important task” for those who have seen the movie, but not spoiling it for those who want to see it).
I have read a critic saying it was christian propaganda. Maybe the message is “propaganda” (but the term is quite strong!) that agrees with a Christian value; however, it is not as strong as, say, what happens in Narnia. More than a social and christian message, it is a moral message whose function is, in my opinion, more to set the movie in the fairy tales genre rather than in the dark genre.
Oh, and I loved the faun :-)
So as a conclusion, if you missed it, try and buy the DVD – and watch it in the original version (Spanish!) it is worth it.