Pan’s Labyrinth

Posted in movies, reviews at 8:29 pm by danvk


(no spoilers, I promise!)

I thoroughly enjoyed Pan’s Labyrinth this weekend. It’s set in Spain in 1944, at an outpost where a few rebels are holding out against Franco’s regime. The stories of the Rebel’s fight and the fantastical world of Ofelia’s imagination run in parallel throughout the movie.

The rebel story is brutally violent. The last time I remember covering my eyes at a movie was American History X, many years ago. Pan’s Labyrinth made me do it at least three times. The violence wasn’t gratuitous, though. We all became completely desensitized to guns and seeing people being shot long ago. This violence will still make you feel something.

Ofelia’s story is the one that makes this film particularly fascinating. It’s not violent so much as occasionally gross and cringe-inducing. In the innocence vs. experience contrast that the film sets up, she’s clearly the innocent one. But she’s exceptionally brave and loyal in her own peculiar ways, just like the rebels.

I will say no more plot-wise to avoid spoiling, but a few observations:

  • The sound was just phenomenal. The Captain’s gloves and the Fairies’ wings are recurring themes.
  • The wiki page points to Borges as an influence. I picked up the Narnia parallels, but I have to admit, I totally missed this one. It’s there, though — the “Labyrinth” is right there in the title. It makes me wonder if there are other, more subtle Borges influences I also missed.
  • The Labyrinth was very cool. It reminded me of some of the ancient art I saw in Ireland. There were about 30,000 years between the advent of art and the dawn of recorded history. That’s a huge expanse of time, and god only knows what stories are hidden in there.


  1. films said,

    February 12, 2010 at 12:08 am

    Very good film, thanks!

  2. Vector said,

    April 21, 2010 at 2:46 am

    nice film, very good design in vector!

  3. graf said,

    June 26, 2011 at 4:41 am

    Good film