Pan’s Labyrinth

I finally watched this film tonight, after meaning to for ages. It’s a sublime film in that it’s much bigger than the small space within which it takes place, and is simultaneously beautiful and grotesque.

Like Munchausen, it never answers the question as to whether the magical events of the story were "real," the fanciful imagination of a little girl that’s dealing with a dreadful world and the sickness of her mother, or somewhere in between. This fact creates a tension in the end of the film such that it is either uplifting, depressing or both at once. I for one appreciated the touch of hope, and the potential religious symbolism. In any case, it’s a wrenching film.

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6 Responses to “Pan’s Labyrinth”

  1. kurosau Says:

    Funny thing, I don’t think the ambiguity was intentional. Earlier bits in the film seem to be impossible without a fantastical explanation, and Del Toro even stated explicitly that the Underworld was a real place that she went to after passing the final test.

  2. uhlrik Says:

    I’d prefer to think that it was real, but I like to leave open the possibility that it’s all just how the girl’s dealing with what’s going on.

  3. meta4life Says:

    “Wrenching” is a good word to describe it, IMO.

    We finally rented it not too long ago, also. We’d also grabbed “Mirrormask” and the contrasts between the two films was pretty stark, viewed consecutively like that.

    I was rather glad it was all left ambiguous — I like it when a director respects my choice to interpret things for meaning — but I’m never a fan of sad endings, and this certainly seemed to be one.

  4. uhlrik Says:

    I prefer to interpret this particular ending such that it ended up being happy for the little girl, albeit poignant.

  5. uhlrik Says:

    Oh, Mirrormask… I’ve really been wanting to see that one.

  6. meta4life Says:

    It’s quite the surreal romp. đŸ™‚ Like getting to be inside a Gaiman graphic novel for a bit.

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