Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Movie: Pan’s Labyrinth

Remember the movie simply titled Labyrinth with David Bowie?

There’s a similar theme here. An earthly world converges with a fantastic one. There’s a young girl and an infant sibling and lives are at stake.

But Pan’s Labyrinth is far more serious. It’s darker – very dark, in fact. It’s creepy and disturbing and downright upsetting. It’s moving and sad and it’s not for kids.

In this film the villain reigns not in the fairy realm but in the earthly world. The setting is a large remote mill-come-military outpost in occupied Spain - around the close of world war two I presume. And more scenes unfold there than in the ‘labyrinth’. The fantasy-dominant ads are misleading. As for claims of similarity to Lord of the Rings I’ll grant parallels along lines of style but as for scope or storyline – forget it. They’re eons apart.

It smacks of M. Knight Shamalamadingdong’s efforts but better.

The cast is strong. It’s a well-crafted, award-worthy film, I thought, and one that is not quickly forgotten. But don’t see it unless you’re willing to have your buttons pushed.



Babs Gladhand said...

Is it watch through my hands scary?

For the record, the first time I watched Silence of the Lambs, I did so through a blanket.

I'm a weenie.

Dave said...

You saw it without me? Bastard!

Fantasy Writer Guy said...

Weenie: There was one scene in particular that I closed my eyes through but it still - like - grossed me out the door. I don't think I'm ruining anything by revealing that it was a scene where someone sews their own wound closed. If you can handle that you're home free.

Davey-boy: I didn't know you'd go for this kind of movie! And don't call me a bastard, you pencil-neck geek! (I'm referring to one of those red primary pencils that you hold with both hands of course)

Dave said...

Oh my god, I LOVE those pencils. Except for the whole touching the wood thing...that makes me gag a bit. But hell ya, I think The Squeeze and I might catch it in the near future. I've heard some big things about it...apparently it received a 25 minute ovation at Cannes. Gotta like that!

Fantasy Writer Guy said...

Oh yeah. I forgot all about your 'touching wood' phobia. That's pretty weird - and rife with Freudian connotations if I may add...

Kathleen said...

I definitely want to see this movie. I just saw Labyrinth within the past six months (yes, I'm very behind my 80s movies, I was in college), and I figure if I could make it through The Proposition, I can make it through this. I "watched" part of that with my head buried in the Libertarian's sleeve.

Whatever's Clever said...

I just stumbled upon your blog and kept on reading! I am obsessed with the original "Labrynth." Thanks for the review of "Pan's". Sounds like something I can't wait to see!