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Pan's Labyrinth
USA, Spain, Mexico
Drama, Thriller, War, Mystery, Fantasy
IMDB rating:
Guillermo del Toro
Ivana Baquero as Ofelia
Sergi López as Captain Vidal
Maribel Verdú as Mercedes
Doug Jones as Fauno
Ariadna Gil as Carmen Vidal
Álex Angulo as Doctor
Manolo Solo as Garcés
César Vea as Serrano
Ivan Massagué as El Tarta
Gonzalo Uriarte as Francés
Francisco Vidal as Sacerdote (as Paco Vidal)
Juanjo Cucalón as Alcalde
Storyline: In 1944 falangist Spain, a girl, fascinated with fairy-tales, is sent along with her pregnant mother to live with her new stepfather, a ruthless captain of the Spanish army. During the night, she meets a fairy who takes her to an old faun in the center of the labyrinth. He tells her she's a princess, but must prove her royalty by surviving three gruesome tasks. If she fails, she will never prove herself to be the the true princess and will never see her real father, the king, again.
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HQ DVD-rip 720x480 px 1725 Mb mpeg4 2028 Kbps mp4 Download
DVD-rip 528x288 px 701 Mb mpeg4 824 Kbps avi Download
Simple review on the film
Pans Labyrinth hooked me in, and created an enigma that had me captured from the very start. The overall mood of the film is extremely dark, ghostly and eerie, and the lighting often changes to represent the different themes of the film; escapism, reality and fantasy are shown in green, blue and red/gold lights. The micro elements are very detailed, for example in the first scene, the graphic editing of Ofelia's eye into the parallel universe was very effective as it represented the other world through her perspective, along with the narrators voice. Furthermore, the mise-en-scene used through the constant use of books portrayed Ofelia's interest in fairy tails and fantasy, which she uses as an escape from the real world, and also the horrific things that happen around her. I thought that the special effects were astounding, from the faun, to the toad, to the pale man; all the creatures/monsters shocked me as they were so realistic. The film was visually remarkable! Additionally, the performance from Ivana Baquero was exceptional, especially considering she was so young at the time of the film. The camera shots were very significant throughout the film, as there are extreme close ups of Vidal's watch which symbolises how important time is in the film. Also the distant shot of the pale man is very similar to when Vidal is at the dinner table, this portrays Ofelia's mental reconstruction of Vidal as Ofelia sees him as pure evil. Overall, I loved the film and thoroughly enjoyed the juxtaposition between the 'two worlds' and also the theme of good vs evil.
Pretentious waste of time
As i was looking for any great films i might have missed over the years i came across this.At first it seemed pretty good rated so i decided to watch it...

Big mistake.The whole 2 hours I was hoping it would cut it with the real world Spanish war drama crap and go to wonderland already.It was like watching Alice in Wonderland but without wonderland and with some twilight-esquire lets talk about our feelings crap.

Most over-rated movie I have ever come across.It's up there with New Moon as the most horrific movies I've ever watched.The flat ending smashed any hope i had of it being at least decent. Was hoping for some gruesome stuff coming out of the whole "open the portal" thing, i was really hoping the whole princess thing would be just a hoax.

This is NOT a fantasy film!Thats just the commercials in between the soap opera.
The worst Del Toro so far
This is no doubt the worst movie by Del Toro so far, no matter what other people have said. The plot is simply ridiculously unbelievable, especially if you know a thing or two about recent Spanish history and are not caught in ideological mousetraps. The plot is similar to Del Toro's "El Espinazo del Diablo" (2001), but unfortunately it is much weaker. In fact, the viewer will not understand the plot at all unless he or she is mired in a certain ideology which Del Toro apparently shares with his leading actors. The absurdities and historical inaccuracies (especially those concerning Captain Vidal) are too gross and too abundant to list here, and the result is one of the most biased movies I have ever seen.
A Gothic Masterpiece
Playing moments of true wonderment off scenes of sadistic brutality, Guillermo del Toro has created an epithet for classical fairy tales reminiscent of the traditional stories which amazed - yet simultaneously frightened - children.

Del Toro offers us two worlds through the perspective of young Ofelia. The first - reality - is the cruelty of Franco's Spain; where Ofelia is whisked away to her sadistic step-father (played brilliantly by Sergi Lopez) who is attempting to root out the last remnants of the Republic. The second - fantasy - is the underground kingdom - or more precisely the promise of such a world - as Ofelia must complete three tasks for the beautifully constructed faun in order to prove her worth of being a part of such a utopia. What elevates Pan's Labyrinth above other fantasises, however, is the fact that its reality sequences are just as intriguing as its fantasy elements - a rare feat - and the two meld together perfectly.

For instance, the faun may offer interestingly ambiguous revelations about Ofelia's destiny, but only if she follows his orders. Yet he doesn't necessarily mean what he says, and the presence of the Fascists in Ofelia's reality suggests that blindly following orders is the complete opposite of what she should do. So, while there are trips into the magical world (including a disturbing yet inherently memorable scene with the hieronymus bosch-like spectre known as the 'Pale Man') they do not overwhelm the film.

The true horror and the meat of the story lies in Falangist Spain with the menacing Captain Vidal, who takes delight in torture - ritually preparing his tool kit and reciting his own speech to demoralise his victims - and who is equally obsessed with the continuation of his bloodline. The fantasy world is indeed where Ofelia's lessons are learned so that she may confront the terrors of reality; the most important of which being the need for courageous disobedience in the face of extreme oppression. Pan's Labyrinth therefore successfully and perfectly captures the essence of classical children's literature; combining fantasy with moments of horror, all with an underlying and ultimately crucial message which we must take head of in reality. The final scene is also a true whopper; with a killer of a send-off line and an ambiguous ending which still fuels debates to this day.

Thankfully, del Toro uses CGI sparingly, although it is very obvious when it is used (particularly in the case of the giant toad) but this doesn't detract from the film's overall brilliance. It's dark, at times disturbing, but nevertheless beautiful, a true Gothic tale if there ever was one.
Subtle as a Brick
I just don't get it. The "real" world elements portrayed here make a satisfying story although somewhat obvious and lacking in subtlety. Nevertheless I could happily have watched a version of this film if it had no fantasy elements and at least had a cathartic experience based on the bad guy getting what he deserved. But the fantasy elements just did not fit here. Firstly they were strictly fantasy 101 - oh, the girl goes on the hero's journey represented by the journey into the underworld where she has to perform a series of tasks to prove her worth. Secondly they had no relationship to the real world events. Thirdly as the message was presumably that she escaped from the real horrors by fantasising, then why bother with the complex symbolism? If you want fantasy then "Lord of the Rings" does better than this at portraying the horrors of war. If you want the real horrors of war then there are a zillion things you could watch, staring with Apocalypse Now and working down from there. I'm a big fan of fantasy and I'm a big fan of realism but this attempted combination just does not work on either count. This film will appeal to those who fancy themselves as intellectuals and like reading magical realist novels that win literary prizes. I would think that most fantasy fans, who can discern the subtext of a story in a heartbeat, and most of those who are moved by a war film can only be baffled by the praise heaped upon this entirely pedestrian film that tries to succeed by bludgeoning the viewer with the obvious. I repeat; I just don't get it.
It really deserves all the acclaim
The negative reviews of this film on IMDb seem to fall into two categories: a) it was too violent b) the fantasy element was too muted

Without getting too political, worse things are going on in the world at this very moment than were depicted in this film. While many people prefer entertainment that insulates them from the harsh realities of this world, one shouldn't get so indignant when a film portrays the world for what it is. Capitán Vidal was a fictitious character, but there are plenty of people exactly like him. Humans are capable of terrible atrocities and looking the other way does nothing to improve our nature. If violence offends people so much they should do something about real violence rather than writing nasty reviews about depictions of it.

The violence set a tone of desperation for Ofelia. Fairy tales themselves are extremely violent, and Disney cartoons are nothing like the stories they were based on. This film was rated R. What were you expecting?

It is easier to understand people who thought the fantasy element was eclipsed, and were maybe hoping for another Narnia or one of the other countless fantasy flicks that has come out in the wake of LOTR. This film touched on many of the most fundamental themes of mythology, such as parallel worlds, dangerous tasks, hidden identities, sacrifice, and death. It did something more than the standard fantasy movie, which is part of why it was such a great film.
Deadly Dull, Deadly Stupid
Filmed well, but darkly, Pan's Labyrinth is a nonsensical tale of a little girl's adventures through a fantasy world of grotesque creatures and places as she escapes the equally grotesque reality of her worldly situation. Ofelia is step-daughter to a sadistic captain of the guards of an area of Franco's Spain still under guerrilla threat of the residual partisan opposition. The fantasy elements of the movie are pointless and shockingly boring. They are full of unexplained sickening creatures, insects, fairies, and FX hamming.

The stupid insurrection fleshes out scenes of the real world. But the picture is reasonably interesting when the Captain is pursuing his cruel regime and investigations. A servant and some others are sympathizers with the Resistance while working in the Captain's own household. Ofelia's pregnant mother is carrying the Captain's child. The Captain himself is compelling and is clearly no coward. The movie is at it's meager best when he is on screen.

Why is the insurrection 'stupid'? Well, we know, of course, that the Franco regime survived and the insurrection did not. So, we cannot hope to see the rebels prevailing in the long run. This makes their cause and their actions meaningless.

The movie commits the cardinal sin that a movie can commit: the death of a child by violence. Try though they might to dress that up with a scene of Ofelia's reunification with her (by that time dead) mother and natural father in the hereafter, the fact remains that this child has been killed.

The movie is well-shot and well-acted. It is relentlessly dark and depressing. And worst of all, it makes no sense whatsoever. Nor is it interesting. Despite all the fantasy and harsh reality, this is basically an extremely overlong and boring movie. A true waste of two hours.
A film for anyone who hasn't slaughtered the child within
Tremendously, poignantly sad, Pan's Labyrinth is a masterpiece of cinema.

Pan's Labyrinth is equivalent to our daily experience--in which we wake up every morning bathed in the reality that life is not all perfect, fluffy Disney movies. In fact, life often seems unbalanced in favor of the pain and anguish department. Moments of joy, happiness, love, security, satisfaction--every experience of positive emotion--are fleeting, more mirage than solid reality.

Pan's Labyrinth speaks to the child wearing an adults shell. It speaks to our sense of horror at the world and life we're surrounded with. Agreeably, few of us endure the horrors, pain, fear, and despair of Ofelia's life, but by painting Ofelia's demons and nightmares as vividly as she experienced them, our daily struggles are immortalized, honored. We, vicariously through Ofelia, feel that perhaps there's a reason we endure the turmoil of life. Perhaps we too are princes and princesses, destined for greater things. Pan's Labyrinth is a movie for thinking people; a movie for those who feel like there must be more; a movie for anyone who's ever struggled onward, day to day, winning small battles but feeling they're loosing the larger war.

Pan's Labyrinth is not for the faint of heart, nor for those who've slaughtered the child within on the alter of harsh reality. Pan's Labyrinth is for everyone else.
Still trying to understand the Hype....
I watched this moving again last night for the 2nd time, and I still don't understand the Hype. I don't understand why people are calling this a "masterpiece". It is not even close. It is a very entertaining film, and the cinematography is beautiful, but the story is completely lacking. The war scenes are very brutal and gory, and the fantasy scenes aren't for kids, but overall all I can say is the ONLY thing I can figure out in this movie, is that the young girl didn't want to face the harsh reality's of war, and created this Fantasy world to stick her feet into throughout the film.. I don't see any "hidden-meanings" within this film at all. The girl is just a kid, and kids go off in fantasy worlds when they don't want to deal with harsh realities... nothing more to it than that.

The ending was pretty sad, but I was really really disappointed in the very end when she's at her "kingdom" - I mean, come on, hasn't this been done before??? Reminded me of the titanic ending when Rose meets Jack at the clock in the End...

This movie took 2 films, A typical war film and a Typical Fantasy film, and put it together.. and its a masterpiece? I'm sorry, I tried with this film, I really did... I just didn't see the Brilliance in it at all. I consider Kubrick's 2001: A Space Oddessey, a Masterpiece.. THIS isn't even on the same scale as that...

Pan's labrynth is entertaining at best, but not a masterpiece.
Brilliant idea, painful delivery system
I was touched by this movie when I first saw it in 2008. In many ways I was younger back then. I thought to myself tonight - "I'm up for some fantasia fun with the Faun and Ofelia et al". What I got instead was a rather landlocked affair, and the fairy tale I wanted just wasn't there in enough strength.

The fairy tale concept in this movie is truly inspired, the girl feeling displaced in a troubled world and poor personal circumstances, stands to become a princess, if she can just pass the tests. The historical backdrop and the art house feel are perfect for this and the fairy tale is very compelling, it really manages to pack the required dark severity. The scene in the pale mans cavern with the banquet is truly masterful. Points also must be given for the ending, it did manage to make me feel at least some of what it promised I could. Thanks gang!

But from there on it fails...

Usually with these kinds of stories, the dangers are overcome by the heroine's exhibiting moral qualities that are the real message of the movie. In Pans Labyrinth, the real message of the movie is instead a gruelling lecture about fascism thrust upon us in the real world, quite apart from Ofelia's quest (are we wrong to question Del Toro's casting the communists as sainted warriors?). Just about all of the characters apart from those involved in the fairy tale are pretty loathsome, say nothing of "the Captain" who is one of the most unbelievable villains you will ever see. He really is boring, and he's in it all the way. It's not an exaggeration to say that the movie is about this sad irredeemable bastard. Even our heroine has no effect on him, in every scene Del Toro is saying "don't you hate him? hate him now! he's a baddie!'

Baquero, the Faun and the fairy tale save this movie from being a disaster. My only criticism of Baquero's role is that (I read this as a rumor, and it seems to fit) the role seemed to be suited for a younger girl, I sensed the script wasn't quite complex enough for her age. She would have landed the material had she been given it, she played her part very well. I absolutely love the way she is visibly tempted by the feast and waives the fairies off in the underground cavern to make her fated mistake.

So over all, it was in Del Toro's grasp to make a truly great dark fairy tale, with an ending so good you are transported to another world, but I can't really say that's what this is. After his moment of genius, he can't stay on the path, and the result is a bit hard to take. He was like Ofelia in the cavern of the pale man - eats his own forbidden fruit for no reason (or for whatever reason), and we're all forced to wince it out.

I give this 7 because the fairy tale really is quite intriguing, the rest was painful and predictable.
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