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Pan's Labyrinth [HD DVD]  [US Import]
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Inspired by the Brothers Grimm, Jorge Luis Borges, and Guillermo del Toro's own unlimited imagination, Pan's Labyrinth is a fairytale for adults. Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) may only be 12, but the worlds she inhabits, both above and below ground, are dark as anything del Toro has conjured. Set in rural Spain, circa 1944, Ofelia and her widowed mother, Carmen (Ariadna Gil, Belle Epoque), have just moved into an abandoned mill with Carmen's new husband, Captain Vidal (Sergi López, With a Friend like Harry). Carmen is pregnant with his son. Other than her sickly mother and kindly housekeeper Mercedes (Maribel Verdú, Y Tu Mamá También), the dreamy Ofelia is on her own. Vidal, an exceedingly cruel man, couldn't be bothered. He has informers to torture. Ofelia soon finds that an entire universe exists below the mill. Her guide is the persuasive Faun (Doug Jones, Mimic). As her mother grows weaker, Ofelia spends more and more time in the satyr's labyrinth. He offers to help her out of her predicament if she'll complete three treacherous tasks. Ofelia is willing to try, but does this alternate reality really exist or is it all in her head? Del Toro leaves that up to the viewer to decide in a beautiful, yet brutal twin to The Devil's Backbone, which was also haunted by the ghost of Franco. Though it lacks the humour of Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth represents Guillermo Del Toro at the top of his considerable game. --Kathleen C. Fennessy --This text refers to the Blu-ray edition.
Accompanied by her parents, Ofelia moves from a large Spanish city to a more rural area in the north of the country. Faced with the upheaval of moving home, an abusive stepfather and the general unpleasantness surrounding Franco's victory in 1944, Ofelia enters an imaginary world of creatures and demons in a bid to escape. From Guillermo del Torro, the visionary director of The Devil's Backbone and Cronos comes another frightening fantasy. --This text refers to the Blu-ray edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
A fairytale about a girl who wants to be a Princess - Sounds like something out of a Walt Disney script - however this is one movie you don't want your young ones to see. This is a dark, and in places very brutal movie (very brutal and certainly not for the squeamish nor suitable for a young child). Set in Civil War torn Spain there are political elements (discussing a lot of Spanish Franco themes) with the story running consecutively and inter-woven with the fantasies of a young Girl Ofelia who has moved with her Mother to live with her Father-in-Law (Captain Vidal - possibly in the top ten movie villains ever).
I won't ruin too much more (when people write reviews that ruin the story please but spoilers warning first!) but along the way you get to meet some kind loving individuals and some at the other end of the spectrum.
Magnificently atmospheric, you'll be on the edge of your seat one second and then cowering away from the screen the next, you won't want this to end as the fantasy world of Ofelia is quite beautiful as is the whole ending of the movie - certainly you'll miss things the first time around and will be back for a second viewing to only heighten the viewing pleasure of this film.
Brilliantly acted - especially the characters of Ofelia, Carmen and Vidal.
Ignore idiots like Mr Lawman below who disregard this film because (and I quote) "On top of all this it's not even in English"... Oh the horror...
Pan's Labyrinth is dark, brutal, beautiful and unmissable.
"Pan's Labyrinth" ("El Laberinto del Fauno") is a sequel of sorts to "The Devil's Backbone," a magical realism film about the Spanish Civil War. But this movie takes us deeper into a world that is half real, half ominous fairy tale, with a unique and imaginative story and some really excellent acting -- in short, a triumph.
Time and place: 1944, Spain. Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) and her very pregnant mother travel to meet her new stepfather, the brutal and murderous Captain Vidal (Sergi López). Ofelia loathes her new stepfather, but is transfixed by the eerie forests around them -- and one night she is visited by a fairy, and encounters a giant faun who tells her that she is Princess Moanna of the netherworld, and must return there.
To do so, he tells her that she must do three things, and gives her a strange book. Ofelia menages first task, but is frightened out of her wits by the second task, which involves a hideous monster with eyes in its hands. Even worse, her mother's pregnancy is getting more dangerous. As the guerillas and the fascists clash, Ofelia faces being trapped outside the netherworld forever...
Fairy tales have become cleaned-up and cutesy over time, so that children can read them without nightmares. But del Toro knows that the best fairy tales are the eerie, bizarre ones for adults, that are connected somehow to the real world. That is what makes "Pan's Labyrinth" so brilliantly dark and heartfelt.
Del Toro obviously crafted this with care, directing it in a dreamlike style and brilliant visuals.Read more ›
Ofelia is a little girl in Spain at the time of the Spanish Civil War who moves far from home with her heavily pregnant mother to live with her new step father- a Captain in the Spanish military. She is a child who escapes into fairy tales, not surprising since the real world she inhabits is so unpleasant. Director Gillermo del Toro doesn't flinch from showing the harshness of war, around Ofelia is a new landscape of casual violence, a step father who borders on the sociopathic in his twin obsessions of killing all rebels and fathering a fine son. In the night Ofelia is visited by a faun who tells her that she is the reincarnation of a princess from a magical land and that she may return there if she completes three tasks.
The twin realities that Ofelia moves between are both frightening, both dark, and both very lonely for the little girl. As her mother sickens and her step-father becomes more abusive she finds a friend in Mercedes, a housekeeper who comes to love her. The violence escalates toward a bloody conclusion that is a heart wrenching as anything I've ever watched. Part of the movie's strength is in the performances, its rare to see a film with so much talent on screen. Centring the narrative on such a young actress can often be a mis-step but in this case it works perfectly as Ivana Baquero is excellent.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent movie even if you are not clued up on Spanish politicsPublished 6 days ago by Soyuorearoman
A strange and interesting film that dares to be out of the ordinary.Published 2 months ago by Alan Purslow
a journey into hell and not a pretty fairy tale. Untold, unecessary and unrelenting violence. A film about the "gnosis" of the devil and human beings temptation and fall.Published 2 months ago by Kati K.
The nostalgia lens seems to have affected me. Didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I had when I was a kid...Published 2 months ago by Phillip Carter
Excellent service. Arrived very quickly, brand new. Thank you.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Possibly the best film I have ever seen, and I don't use superlatives lightly.Published 2 months ago by KL