January 27th, 2007

Ariel Union

Pan's Labyrinth

Today, we went out into the winter snowstorm (the sixth weekend snow in a row) and saw Pan's Labyrinth.  It was the first move we'd seen in a theater since Eragon, and we couldn't have picked a better fantasy movie to erase the bitter taste of that crappy fantasy movie from our memories. 

Pan's Labyrinth is about a 11-year-old girl named Ofelia who, it seems, is the reincarnation of the princess of the Underground Realm, and the creatures (fairies, a faun, etc.) of the Underground Realm have come to reunite her with her family  -- after she passes some tests to prove she is really the princess.  That sounds like a typical fantasy movie, huh?  But here's what's also going on -- it's 1944 in Franco's Spain, and Ofelia's new step-father is a brutal fascist army captain fighting rebels in the mountains, and Ofelia's mother is in the last days of a difficult pregnancy, about to deliver the captain a son.  So the "real life" parts of the movie have just as much drama as the fantasy parts (and far more brutality)! 

So, did I like it?  Yes, I did.  The combination of fantasy with finely detailed historical setting is striking, and you really feel for Ofelia having such a terrible time in the real world, and then having a secret "fantasy" life which is also hard and frustrating -- but does offer a hope of escape.

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