Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth

Decisions Decisions...I found myself on a business trip to Nashville this week and I always mix business with pleasure (who doesn't?). So there I stood at the door to the Regal theater trying to decide between Bable (oscar nominated for best picture) and some obscure Spanish film called Pan's Labyrinth about faun's and faeries.

Of course I chose the Labyrinth! (duh!) So I picked up my free popcorn (Tuesday's at Regal are free popcorn days if you're in the club and oh baby! I'm in!) and headed in excitedly to see what this mysterious film had to offer.
First you have to realize it is a Spanish film and therefore...that's right those crazy actors are all speaking Spanish. But like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, the sub-titles didn't bother me as much as I would have thought and I was able to enjoy the movie.
The story quickly catches your attention with a scene and a haunting lullaby from the end of the movie, but soon jumps into the main story of a young child and her pregnant mother traveling on the road in a bouncing late model car. The girl clutches her fairy tale books while the mother clutches her stomach. They arrive at a mill/farmhouse where the mother's new husband and father of the soon to be born baby brother is waiting for them. He is a tyrant of the Spanish army, currently hunting down rebels in the nearby hills. It's his brutality that give the film its "R" rating.
As the movie progresses, it rhythmically sways between the world of fantasy and the cruel harsh realities of real life. It transitions so well that at times you can't tell where fantasy ends and reality begins. The movie drags just slightly in the middle (like my reviews) and the end grows more predictable, but the story is strong, the CGI (Computer Generated Images) affects are brilliant, and the film reflects our own lives like a mirror. Don't we all fantasize just a bit to escape our real life doldrums (who uses that word any more?). We all dream of winning the lottery, or being famous, or living in a world with out war or global warming.
If you dare to enter the labyrinth, then check out Pan's Labyrinth and never trust a fawn.

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