The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

79° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat



    Ofelia approaches a tree where a frog lives in Pans Labyrinth. The fantasy follows her and the dreamland she creates while dealing with living in Spain in the midst of World War Two.
    Ofelia approaches a tree where a frog lives in “”Pan’s Labyrinth.”” The fantasy follows her and the dreamland she creates while dealing with living in Spain in the midst of World War Two.

    The magic realism of Guillermo del Toro’s “”Pan’s Labyrinth”” brings out the kid in all of us. With twists and turns of scary, beautiful fantasy juxtaposed with the brutal facist world of northern Spain in 1944, the movie delivers material worthy of the best films. It has breathtaking special effects, well-structured scenes and a captivating, imaginative story line.

    The movie begins with the tale of little Ofelia (Ivana Baquero), a girl who moves with her pregnant mother to northern Spain. They move to live with Captain Vidal (Sergi Lopez), one of the cruelest villains on the big screen since Ursula from “”The Little Mermaid.””

    On their way to Captain Vidal’s place, Ofelia finds a rock that fits into a stone column. The rock emits a fairy, who follows Ofelia to her new home and ultimately leads her to a forest-green fawn, camouflaged in branches.

    The fawn, Pan, tells Ofelia that she is the princess of his land, but to prove herself, she must pass three tests. The tests involve everything from taking a golden key from a toad as fat and gruesome as Jabba the Hutt to refraining from eating the prohibited fruits of a villain’s banquet.

    The tasks put Ofelia in a fantasy-driven world that separates her from the war going on in her real life.

    The special effects sprinkled throughout the film bring great visual depth. When a grasshopper turns into a fairy, the silhouette the grasshopper takes – that of a human with wings – is astounding. Another notable scene has good use of make-up. The villain’s skin hangs off his bones like wet cake mix while his eyes move in the palms of his hands.

    The story line delivers twists and turns similar to a labyrinth. The three tasks presented to Ofelia are imaginative and full of life. The first task, to take a gold key from the stomach of a frog, is eerie but creative at the same time. The second task, to resist the temptation of eating food from the banquet table of a villain, brings chills. The third task, giving Ofelia’s baby brother to Pan, brings a twist that can’t be shared without spoiling the movie.

    The scenes are shot with an emphasis on the characters’ struggles. When Ofelia goes into the tree where the frog is living, her silhouette against the background of the forest is breathtaking. It’s reminiscent of “”Alice in Wonderland”” when Alice is trying to get through a tiny door.

    Most of the scenes with Captain Vidal are violent. Vidal is a sadist who lives off the others’ pain. It is Vidal’s scenes that give the movie its R rating.

    Baquero is an amazing, promising actress in this movie. The feelings she’s trying to portray translate well on-screen. Although she speaks Spanish throughout the film, her feelings are universal.

    “”Pan’s Labyrinth”” has many lessons to share. With the magic realism that Del Toro unwinds, Ofelia teaches the audience that it is okay to dream, and that it’s okay to be a kid again.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search