Monday, May 07, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth

My first experience of the Mexican director Guillermo Del Toro was his excellent cinematic interpretation of the Hellboy graphic novel series. Del Toro is a maverick, often quoted as refusing to direct a Harry Potter movie unless one of the kids died in it, and losing his chance at directing The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe after telling the producers that he "Didn't want the f**king lion resurrected".

Pan's Labyrinth is a fabulous, scarily gothic Alice in Wonderland, viewed through the eyes of a child living through the horrors of post-civil war Spain. This is NOT a children's film. There are scenes of feral violence, which I found myself watching through tightly closed fingers.

The actings is uniformly excellent. The CGI is seamless, not showy. The cinematography is powerful, especially in its use of light to evoke atmosphere and moods.

Most of all Del Toro revives one of the primary purposes of fairy tales, to remind us that there ARE sometimes monsters under the bed, that we live in an unpredictable universe where good people don't always win.

However, the universe that Toro depicts is poly-dimensional, with redemption available for those with the eyes to see. Definitely one for the DVD collection.

1 comment:

soraneko said...

I loved watching this film, glad you managed to enjoy it through the giggling (and out-right laughter) of us all