Written and directed by Guillermo del Toro, Pan’s Labyrinth (El laberinto del fauno) tells a story of a young girl named Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) who moves to her new cruel stepfather’s residence in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. Ofelia despises the grim reality she finds herself in as well as her stepfather’s harsh treatment of her.
One day she comes across a mysterious faun, which promises to take her away to a magical realm if Ofelia can fulfil three tasks. As Ofelia is caught between fantasy and reality, she discovers that the worst monsters are sometimes humans.
The film itself is too beautiful that it will be an injustice to give the full story of it. Nobody wants to give away the storyline because it is such a lovely enchanting piece.
From the plot to the visuals to the music, the film beautifully covers all of its aspects. The film skillfully guides the audience through the chapters of the story, beginning with a broad picture of the story, including the revolution, and moving to a narrower picture of Pan (Doug Jones).
Though the film is slow, it allows the viewers to pay attention to the small signs that appear throughout the film.
The writer has created interesting establishing scenes for the characters, and the writer has thoroughly examined and absorbed the characters’ background stories. We feel what each and every character goes through.
The acting is outstanding. The actors, particularly Ofelia and Mercedes the maid, have thoroughly absorbed their characters in every possible aspect. We see the magical world through her eyes and Baquero has succeeded in making us believe the same. She didn’t just act but thoroughly studied the character given to her. Maribel Verd gives us the impression that she is a woman in her mid-forties. Thanks to her exceptional acting skills.
Normally, we find fauns as a dangerous and cruel creature but in Pan’s Labyrinth, the director makes us feel that he (Pan) is a safe and approachable character.
When it comes to the film’s visual production, it is surprisingly realistic and unique as it employs a realistic colour theme to connect with Ofelia’s imaginary world.
Javier Navarrete did an excellent job interpreting the film’s mood and composing the greatest music for it.
The film as a whole indeed is an adventure journey to the world unknown. It is for the same reason that the film won three Academy Awards in 2007; Best Achievement in Art Direction, Best Achievement in Cinematography and Best Achievement in Make-up.