A review of "Pan's Labyrinth" — 4 years ago
I would actually like to own this movie. I don’t think anyone that is capable of satisfaction could complain about how well done the visuals were. They’re absolutely stunning. The amazing visuals in the advertisements were part of what drew me to watch the movie in the first place.
However, such striking visuals when combined with violence, can be quite disturbing since the gore can be pretty intense and realistic at times. There were a couple scenes were I half turned away, but the incident that most disturbed my cousin didn’t bother me much at all. Two other scenes struck me as the most disturbing visually, and as some of the most disturbing in concept. This might bother more squeamish viewers, but I don’t think you should let it scare you off. Just have someone who has watched it tell you when to look away if you can’t stomach such things. And be aware- it is not mindless violence. I mean, I am not saying that the perpetraitors of the violence had a good reason for what they did, BUT I am saying that the movie had a good reason for including the violence. It is PARTLY a war movie (though equally a fantasy movie, I think) and deals with cruel, heartless facists so gore and violence are necessary for realism in a world full of war AND necessary for fleshing out characters. I don’t particularly care for gore- much the opposite- but since it had a point and purpose in the movie, I can understand the importance of including it.
People are right- it’s a dark movie. But why does a movie have to always be light and fun hearted to be good? I can understand that not everyone can appreciate a dark film, but I don’t think it makes it a bad film, merely not everyone’s taste. Some people always want to walk away singing a happy song, laughing, daydreaming lovey dovey thoughts, etc., but if you can find importance and beauty and worth in darker movies, this might be for you.
Some folks have complained that there is too much reality and war based portions that detract from the fantasy segments. Now, the fantasy was another reason I was drawn to this movie. I love fantasy movies, and it was the azing imagery of the fantasy world and the fantasy portion of the story that really drug me in, but before I watched the movie, I knew from the advtisements I’d seen, that the movie was partly based around the war and partly around a fantasy world. I expected to see parts of both worlds and I think the movie was fairly even in showing both, though perhaps a little tilted. Now, I wouldn’t have minded seeing more of the fantasy world, since I really enjoyed that part of the movie and rather like fantasy, but I knew all along the movie would be divided between the two world, and honestly, I ended up being drawn into the regular side of their world, as well. I wanted to watch both world. If they had added more about the fantasy world, that would have been fine, but I think the real world was an important part of the movie and I personally enjoyed that part of the movie, as well.
It is subtitled, so if you don’t like that, then you may dislike the movie, but I don’t think we can say the movie itself is lacking because of this. Yet, it may not appeal to everyone because of that. Personally, though, I think it made the Faun’s voice more interesting because since it was in a language I was not accustomed to hearing or speaking often, combined with the way he spoke, made his voice less mundane to me.