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“Pan’s Labyrinth” Movie Review

https%3A%2F%2Fwww.flickr.com%2Fphotos%2Fx1brett%2F6907118902
https://www.flickr.com/photos/x1brett/6907118902

Summary:

In 1944 civil-war-torn Spain, the young stepdaughter of a cruel army officer witnesses her stepfather’s brutality and escapes into Pan’s Labyrinth, a fantastical world of strange creatures.

Review: Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth is a magical yet eerie commentary on the Spanish Civil War. For as fantastical as this world is, it does a great job of grounding itself in reality. The antagonist, Captain Vidal, could’ve been a typical cookie-cutter evil general, but he is so much more complex and menacing than that, partially due to Sergi López’s performance. The creatures in The Labyrinth could’ve been cartoonish and unrealistic, but they look and feel extremely real, which is especially impressive given this movie is almost 20 years old. All of the dramatic moments hit home, all of the suspenseful moments make your heart race, and all of the violence, while there may be quite a lot, is used purposefully, not just for the sake of violence, but to build the characters and shape the environment. Nothing is sugar-coated in this film, which I think makes it all the better. Everything, from the camera work to the acting to the score, is done with purpose and care. I’d recommend watching this movie in Spanish with subtitles instead of the English version because even the actors’ voices say so much.

5/5 stars

 

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