Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Little Jewel of a Soundtrack (Muy bien!), 29 Aug. 2008
This review is from: Pan's Labyrinth (Audio CD)
I first saw "El Laberinto del Fauno" ("Pan's Labyrinth", if you insist, although director Guillermo Del Toro has pointed out that the Faun in the film is NOT Pan!), in Spanish class at University, and the thing that haunted me most about the film was the music: in particular, the main theme.

Even so, buying the soundtrack to a non-Hollywood film was still unusual for me, but where I live, good film scores are hard to come by and this one just happened to appear in a local CD store, so I bought it, and boy was I glad that I did.

As is explained in the liner notes and in the DVD's special features, Del Toro wanted the main theme to be a simple lullaby melody, reflecting the fairy tale nature of the story. Javier Navarette succeeded not only in this, but also in crafting a beautiful score that seems to emanate from the main theme.

It is both enchanting when it accompanies the curiosity and mystery of the fairy tale, and harsh and disturbing when it conveys the evils present in both the fantasy and the reality. The main theme, the lullaby, permeates all of the music, but there are also other themes, like one that represents Mercedes' courage and another to reflect the tragic deaths in the story.

I find it difficult to describe the music as it is unlike anything I have heard before, but in a good way. Also, the CD does not suffer from the fluctuating recording levels that I always encounter in `Hollywood soundtracks': what I mean is, the sound is balanced and you don't have to keep adjusting it for loud and soft parts.

An added bonus, as del Toro points out in the liner notes, is that this CD is in effect a `complete recording', as it includes all of the music composed for the film, even those pieces not used in the film: this mainly comprises music to accompany the fighting sequences, but there is also music for Ofelia and the Faun's first meeting together.

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by this soundtrack, and it is now one of my firm favourites. For fans of the Hollywood composers, Zimmer, Elfman, Williams, et al., give Javier Navarette a try and prepare to be transported into a fairy tale where light and dark wage a bloody, but ultimately redeeming, battle for the soul of a princess.
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