Film 72 in the “1001 Films to See Before You Die” challenge is 2006’s “Pan’s Labyrinth”. Or to give it’s Spanish title “El laberinto del fauno.” Wow! I really enjoyed this. Lots of things to point out that I rather liked. The first is that in some scenes the colours really stood out making it feel like the scenery is a character in itself. I really liked all the acting by everyone. It’s little things like that that got this film 3 BAFTA awards including “Film Not In The English Language”. That’s one thing I was unaware of going into it was that everything was in Spanish. Another thing I wasn’t aware of going into it was the ending. It really makes The Captain, played by Sergi López, come across as a massive bastard. What he did really makes him come across as the type of person you shouldn’t mess with. From what I saw, I got the impression that when you’re in a battle/war, you really need a team of people you can really trust. Can you trust those closest to you or do you become a one person army? I might have to check out some of Guillermo del Toro’s work once this challenge is over. Some of this other work prior to this is 2004’s “Hellboy”, 2002’s “Blade II” and 2001’s “The Devil’s Backbone”. Since this, del Toro has worked on 2008’s “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”, 2013’s “Pacific Rim” and an episode of “The Strain” entitled “Night Zero” (the debut show for the TV series). This film would become Doug Jones’s, who plays Fauno, third film with del Toro. The others were “Hellboy” where he played Abe Sapien and 1997’s “Mimic” where he played Long John #2. If you have seen this film then let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 2006’s “Pan’s Labyrinth”.
Film – Pan’s Labyrinth (El laberinto del fauno)
Year – 2006
Director – Guillermo del Toro
Staring – Ivana Baquero, Ariadna Gil, Sergi López
IMDb Rating – 8.3/10
My Rating – 8.5/10
Length – 114 min (1h 54min)
Genre – Drama, Fantasy, War
We’re in Spain 1944
And I’m reading in Spanish
Even the narrator is Spanish
Good thing I have subtitles on
Can you ever be too old to read fairy tales?
This doesn’t look like the sort of place to break down when its the middle of the night
And that’s fixed the gravestone
“I saw a fairy” – I didn’t! I saw a grasshopper
Do you really have to time them about how late they are
Never shake with your right hand!
Mercedes tells Ofelia that they live next to a labyrinth
So her mum is lying about The Captain being her dad when her real dad died in the war for being a traitor
Remember kids! Take powerful drugs to help you sleep
I didn’t see any of that, Mercedes
Since when did wind sound like a creeky door
The mother is pregnant!
So inside every pregnant woman’s stomach is a baby and a forest!
He’s very interested in the cogs of that clock
The Captain then goes outside to confront two Elmer Fudd imitators
They were hunting rabbits
He just killed him by smashing his face with the bottom of a beer bottle
He just shot the father
That grasshopper’s ruining my sleep!
It’s a good thing he can speak insect
That grasshopper just turned into Gollum with wings!
Follow me into the labyrinth
Don’t you just hate spiral staircases?
Ofelia just woke up a faun
He think she is Princess Moanna
He says Ofelia must complete three tasks before the moon rises
Helpful! A book with blank pages
Back with The Captain in the morning
Back in the day, men shaved with razorblades
Go turn this rabbit into a stew
Back in the day, bathtubs were filled by pouring water from buckets
Mother gives Ofelia new clothes and shoes for the dinner party later tonight
The page is adding drawings and words!
Milk and honey! Yes please
So that’s how you milk a cow
The Captain then gets a shipment of supplies sent to him
He then heads into the forest to investigate on a smoke signal
Task 1 – Place three magic stones inside a toads belly to make him leave the magical tree
Who leaves antibiotics and lottery tickets in the middle of the forest
Shouting at the enemy to come get their things – That didn’t work
The other army watches on from a distance
Back with Ofelia whos still crawling
Again, it’s a good thing Ofelia can communicate with animals
Mix the magic stones with bugs to make him eat them
That toad jut spat out a lot of puke and inside is a golden key
Who’s stolen my clothes?
They’ve been blown away into the mud
If only washing machine’s existed in 1944?
Ah good, it’s raining!
Time for the dinner party
The Captain tells his guests that he wants the other army defeated before the birth of his newborn son
Mercedes then goes looking for Ofelia and finds her covered in mud
From what Mother just said, she comes across as a little bit whore-ish
No supper for you for getting your clothes muddy
Later that night
Ofelia heads back into the labyrinth with the key
The faun tells her to keep the key… and a stick of chalk
I really wish I knew what was happening
“There is no home without a fire or bread”
The pages are covered in red
And Mother is moaning in her sleep
She’s bleeding from womb!
Better make the kid sleep in the basement while Mother is in hospital
Mercedes tells Ofelia that she’s been helping the rivals
Singing lullabies always keeps me calm
Later that night, Mercedes heads to her secret hole in the floor to get notes
Her and the doctor are working together to help the rivals
So… are the rivals using Mercedes to get info from the inside the enemy camp
The faun finds Ofelia and gives her a root that wants to be human
He then gives her his pets for Task 2
“How’s the leg? It’s fucked!”
The rivals get a note from Dwight Eisenhower
Sorry sir, but I have to cut your foot off
Is chalk meant to melt through walls and lead to another world
That hourglass is going down fast
All this jelly for one creature
Nice to know this creature has portraits of him stabbing babies
Ofelia unlocks a door and retreives a dagger
Better reward myself with a grape
That just woke up the creature
His eyes are in his hands
He can only see by doing the WWE wrestler Stardust pose
He’s just eaten two fairies
The hourglass ran out and now she’s trapped
Better draw a new hole in the roof to escape through the floor
That morning with Mercedes
She gives Pedro a key to the supplies shed
While the mother’s asleep, I’ll use the milk to grow my root
Did she cut herself to feed the root
The Captain tells The Doctor that he’s more concerned about the baby than his wife
It was a bombing!
Someone has bomb The Captain’s train… and not stolen anything
He returns home to find his supplies have been stolen
The bombing was a distraction!
Just shoot them all! They can’t talk!
Mercedes gets news and sees Pedro has been taken captive
Don’t get blood on my tobacco!
Is The Captain saying he’ll believe Pedro when he removes his testicles with pliers?
Well that’s Pedro dealt with
The faun returns to Ofelia to collect his fairies to find that two have died
The faun is outraged and tells her to never return to the labyrinth
The next day
The Captain has sent The Doctor to check on Pedro
He also finds antibiotics in his case
Things don’t look good for The Doctor
He finds Ofelia hidden under The Mother’s bed and the root
Better blame books for all the problems
The Mother then burns the root which ends up hurting her
The Doctor says he works for both sides because he’s a doctor
This ends up with him getting shot and killed by The Captain
He then gets news about The Mother
The Mother is dead but her newborn son is born
Better make Mercedes and the other maids look after him
She and The Captain chat about The Doctor being a traitor
He gives the key to the storeroom before playing his records
She then gets her stuff and takes Ofelia with her to the rival’s hideout
The Captain has found them in the forest
Nothing like child abuse to get your point across
He interogate her
She manages to cut free from her ropes and slices The Captain’s back and mouth
They then chase her through the forest and surround her
She threatens to kill herself before going back
The rivals then strike and kill the guards
Wait… That wasn’t Pedro they captured earlier
Back with Ofelia
The faun says he’s giving her one last chance
He tells her bring her newborn to the labyrinth ASAP
All The Captain needs is some white face paint and he can be The Joker
Also, it’s a good thing he knows how to apply stitches to himself
Drinking just made the stitches bleed
He then finds the chalk and crushes it
Where’s Ofelia hiding?
She’s hiding in the sandbags
Good thing I stole my mum’s drugs so I can drug The Captain
The Captain realises that he is losing the battle
Ofelia has the newborn
The Captain drinks his drink and finds Ofelia with his son/her brother
He then starts wobbling and chases after her
Meanwhile, the rivals have arrived at his base to take it over
The Captain chases Ofelia into the labyrinth
Shit! Dead end!
Shit! I’ve lost her!
The faun says the blood of the newborn will open portal
The Captain finds Ofelia but doesn’t see the faun
He takes the baby and shoots Ofelia!
What a c*nt!
Is it me or is this baby changing shape in every shot?
Pedro then shoots The Captain in the face
He, Mercedes and the his troops head inside the labyrinth to find Ofelia
Ofelia’s blood is opening the portal
Ofelia finds her father and mother sitting on thrones
Everyone applauds as we have a new person in charge
Ofelia then dies as Mercedes hums to her