Thursday, March 08, 2007

Movie review: Pan's Labyrinth

Steve's mother is visiting us since last weekend, and she is kindly letting Steve and I to go out in the evening as often as we want to, while she takes care of Erika. So last weekend we did something as exotic as going to the movies. If one sees at most two movies a year, it's hard to decide which movies are worthy of that honor. So I make like a sheep and go with those that have generated the most buzz, provided their plot or genre appeals to me. The one movie this year that has penetrated the little text-only bubble I live in, was "Pan's Labyrinth", so I dragged Steve out to see it. (By the way, why is the title translated "Pan's Labyrinth" and not "Faun's Labyrinth", if the creature after which it is named is referred to as a faun? Even though it's the same thing.)

Yes, it justified the buzz. It was a highly watchable movie. The magic in it is pretty much of a generic Harry Potter-like kind, but the mood / plot is diametrically opposite. I wouldn't categorize it as a fantasy movie, though. In my opinion, a work belongs to a genre of fantasy or science fiction if it suggests that the events depicted in it are reality, rather than just happening in somebody's imagination. In "Pan's Labyrinth", it is pretty clear that the fantastic events are happening in the protagonist's imagination only, as they don't affect anyone else in the real world. It becomes apparent that in the near future she'll probably find out that all those things she imagined were not real, unless... there is no near future for her. And so the real world and the fantasy world were reconciled in the only way that was possible. In that sense the plot was quite predictable. But despite its tragic ending, this movie indeed provided a Very Satisfying Viewing Experience.

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