Pan’s Labyrinth Review: A Two in One Movie

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Pan’s Labyrinth is a 2006 Spanish movie that centers on the 1944 civil war in Spain, which young Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) and her pregnant and sick mother (Ariadna Gil) arrive in the territory of her mother’s new husband (Sergi López), a sadistic army general, who is trying by all brutal means to supress a revolutionary revolt. During this process, Ofelia was exploring an ancient maze, and encountered the faun Pan, who told her that she is a legendary lost princess and must complete three perilous tasks to become immortal. Unfortunately for the cruel army general, his wife’s doctor and his personal female maid were part of the revolt and were serving as informant. Eventually, the death of the army general came, but after he has taken so many lives.

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Pan’s Labyrinth is a great fantasy movie with interesting plot. The story-side of the army general and the rebels was really epic and interesting, but Ofelia’s story side with the faun creature was just on the average, which is where the movie got its title. Let me briefly run through the army general story-side.

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Following the civil war, the army general pushed at erasing a particular set of people/tribe in order to dominate the entire region. He became in charge of all the food in the land, he only has access to everything in the land and if any non-military enters his territory, he put them to death instantly. However, he later found out that his wife’s doctor was an informant, which he killed immediately when he found out. He also found out his maid was also an informant after his wife’s death during child birth. However, capturing his maid was not easy as he thought, as this cost him his soldiers and he also eventually died brutally.

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For Ofelia’s story-side, she was lead to an underworld by a little fairy to meet a Labyrinth creature called faun, who told her she was once a princess in another world. The creature gave her some task to complete in order to return to her former world and become immortal. The last deadly task she was given was to bring her young brother (the baby her mother give birth to be she died). She eventually succeeded in bringing the young boy to the creature as the army general was in pursuit of her. As she was about to give the baby to the creature, she found out that the baby’s blood will be used to unlock the underworld, and she refused to let go her brother. She gave the baby back to the army general and the army general in return shot Ofelia. Meanwhile, only Ofelia could see the creature no one else. Ofelia spirit then went to meet her father and mother, who were king and queen in the spirit world. She was told she passed the task as she sacrificed her blood in place of the innocent baby’s blood.

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The army general did a great job in his role and his side of the story was epic, which the movie director can develop on the future, but not a fantasy movie this time around but a war movie. Also, Ofelia side of the story can also be developed in the future as a magic fantasy movie. The two story-sides are not well-matched at all, it appears like two movies in one movie. It would have been more interesting if the faun creature had some contact with the army general, like some battle or becoming a terror on the land. Overall, I think Pan’s Labyrinth is a great movie and one of the best Spanish movie I’ve seen.


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