This blog I dedicate to all my friends who avoid fantasy (movies or books) like the plague. Allow me to take you to a world that is as real as your life right now. A world where you can escape whenever you like and return with answers to questions of your real life. Your fantasies could be as tragic as the real world, and the real world could be as magical as your fantasies.
Pan's Labyrinth (The Labyrinth of the Faun) written and directed Guillermo del Toro, tells the tale of Ofelia who comes with her pregnant mother to live with her stepfather Captain Vidal in post - civil war Spain. The vicious and conceited Captain is posted in the region to douse any unrest by anti-facist rebels in the region. The story draws a parallel between Mercedes the housekeeper who protects her rebellious brother by acting as an informer, and Ofelia who has to complete three tasks entrusted to her by a faun who claims that she is Princess Monana reborn.
Ofelia's endeavours range from fighting a monstrous frog to escaping a monster with eyes in his palms. She faces failure and rejection when they are accidents due to her carelessness, while her mother's condition worsens. In the meantime, Mercedes has to face her trials as the Captain's suspicions grow.
It is a fast-paced, thrilling, suspenseful narration that keeps you at the edge of your seat, as Ofelia and Mercedes bravely encounter the Captain's attrocities in their own worlds of real and magic-realism. Their fates are decided by the paths they chose to fulfil their destinies. Its a movie for audiences of all ages, children and adults alike. Guillermo del Toro, brings out the child in you, even while you realise the crudeness of both worlds - real and magic-real. The music is haunting, and blends in beautifully with the picturisation. The director spins a web of courage, honour, valour, and loyalty as he tells the tale of good and evil. Though tragic, the ending left me with a content smile on my face.