Pan’s Labyrinth is a wonderful allegorical tale filled with monsters of all kinds.
A young girl, Ofelia, travels with her pregnant mother to meet her Stepfather. Her Stepfather is a General in Franco’s army and Ofelia soon learns that he is a violent and uncaring man. To escape the horror of her life, she steps into another world in which she is a Princess and monsters can be defeated.
There has been a lot of hype about Pan’s Labyrinth (it was nominated for six Oscars and won three – practically unheard of for a foreign language film). Usually, when a film is getting this much good press, it’s a letdown when you finally get round to watching it. This is not the case with Pan’s Labyrinth. It is a bewitching tale that will keep you enthralled throughout.
Pan’s Labyrinth is not a fantasy adventure filled with bright colours and cute and cuddly mythical creatures (it is more Jim Henson than Disney). The world of Pan’s Labyrinth is dark and cruel, and at times the violence is relentless and startling. Despite this, it is a film filled with beauty, the kind of beauty that can only be seen in gothic art or on a stormy winter’s night.
Whether you believe that Ofelia has created a world from her imagination or whether the visions she experiences are reality, you will be fascinated by her world and all that she encounters.