Welcome back everyone and this is it; the last post of the 30 Day Movie Challenge. And I am so glad to have once again gotten through it with Rhey of Sunshine. Let’s get straight to it, shall we?
My favourite movie of all time is …
El Laberinto Del Fauno or Pan’s Labyrinth
This dark fantasy film is directed and written by another one of my favourite writers, Guillermo del Toro, and tells the tale of Ofelia during the Spanish Civil War. Her pregnant mother and her move in with their stepfather, the Captain Vidal, a stern and imposing man to Ofelia.
The film interweaves this harsh, cold reality with the strange fairytale world Ofelia begins to interact with. Her quest in the mystical world leads her into a labyrinth where she meets a faun who addresses her as Princess Moanna and makes her complete three tasks before the full moon to test her mettle as a princess.
I personally adore this film because of its narrative first and foremost. I personally love the themes that surround it – a darker world which I child must cope with and the terrifying yet absolutely fascinating world she creates in its place. Ofelia, to me, is the perfect protagonist with so many flaws in her character, yet an admirable determination to be brave and do something good. Ivana Baquero plays her so beautifully.
For those who love such movies as Spirited Away, The Chronicles of Narnia, Bridge to Terabithia or Coraline, Pan’s Labyrinth is a more mature version of these films with darker undertones with the creatures Ofelia interacts with.
Pan’s Labyrinth is Alice in Wonderland for grown-ups, with the horrors of both reality and fantasy blended together into an extraordinary, spellbinding fable.” – Rotten Tomatoes
Which is another reason why I love this film: the bone-chilling yet absolutely gorgeous creatures designed in this film. It is no wonder it won an Academy Award for Best Makeup. One of the most terrifying scenes in the film comes in the lair of the Pale Man, a monster that feasts on children, whose eyes are situated in the palm of his hands. Ofelia is meant to retrieve a dagger from his lair and is told not to eat anything from his lair.
Of course, not to spoil anything, but you can imagine how frustrating Ofelia is in this situation – but without her obstinance there would be no morals set upon the audience, i.e. never eat anything around a creepy dude with saggy skin (not really, but the usual moral is too boring for me to spell it out).
Another reason why I love the film is the music by Javier Navarrete, which was also nominated for an Academy Award. The score is entirely structured around a lullaby which Mercedes, Vidal’s housekeeper, sung in the film. The lullaby itself is haunting – a piece that is both soothing and ominous (mirroring the film’s atmosphere itself). To me, it sort of parodies the typical lullabies for children, ones that we find comforting when young, but which we often see in a different light as adults, in the dark, hummed by a stranger. Personally I hum this every now and then ’cause it is just that wonderful.
Personally, I also love the movie ’cause the ending is perfect for me. Often times you watch a film and the set-up is amazing, heck the climax is great, but the ending sort of leaves you with a bitter taste in your mouth. Pan’s Labyrinth proves itself as my favourite because of the way it ends, both tragically and triumphantly, and with so much significant meaning.
I have watched this film maybe three or four times with different audiences just to garner their reactions towards it, especially during the scene of the Pale Man, as many horrific reactions are garnered from just that one scene. Plus, the entire world is filled with beautiful imagery, enough to just keep one staring at it. But, at the end of the day, I love this film the most because, above all things, it is about the storytelling (that del Toro is so brilliant at):
Pan: A long time ago, in the underground realm, where there are no lies or pain, there lived a Princess who dreamed of the human world. She dreamed of blue skies, soft breeze, and sunshine. One day, eluding her keepers, the Princess escaped. Once outside, the brightness blinded her and erased every trace of the past from her memory. She forgot who she was and where she came from. Her body suffered cold, sickness, and pain. Eventually, she died. However, her father, the King, always knew that the Princess’ soul would return, perhaps in another body, in another place, at another time. And he would wait for her, until he drew his last breath, until the world stopped turning…
And, there it is, the last post of the 30 Day Movie Challenge. Stay tuned for a recap of it like I did for the 30 Day Book Challenge. Most likely for those that I picked more than one, I’ll just mention the one that stood out the most for me. But for now, my blog will continue as usual with the occasional posts until a new challenge arises. 🙂