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Pan’s Labyrinth Movie Review

Author GreatDad Writers
Submitted 10-04-2007

 

Netflix, Inc.
 

Rating: R

Starring: Ariadna Gil, Ivana Baquero, Sergi López, Maribel Verdú, Doug Jones

Director: Guillermo Del Toro

Age Groups: 13 Years +

Run Time: 119 minutes

Recommended for: Dads and kids

Note: This is a foreign film in Spanish with English subtitles.

 

logoWhile the beauty and excitement of this seductive tale about kingdoms in the underworld may seem like just what the doctor ordered for Harry Potter and ‘Rings’ Trilogy fans, parents be forewarned: this movie is not for the little ones.

 

That said it’s a great film to watch with your teenagers. This original tale of the journey of a princess (Ofelia) in search of her real father, the king, combines elements of fairy and folk tales, legends, and myths with references to Spanish and Mexican culture and literature.

 

When the faun identifies Ofelia as the Underground Realm’s long-lost princess Moanna, she must complete the tasks given her by an empty book to prove herself worthy of being a princess and returning to her kingdom. Kids are sure to identify with the central quest aspect of Pan’s Labyrinth which involves finding secret keys, confronting monsters, crawling through tunnels and much more. There are mature themes and events in the movie to watch out for: there is the death of a child, shots of torture and violence involving blood and a gruesome scene where Ofelia is shown to be bleeding from her mouth.

 

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The film’s unique historical setting (Franco’s Spain) adds a superb touch of realism that makes Ofelia’s descent into an underworld of fearsome and beautiful monsters more than just another self-serving escapist fantasy.

 

Families are sure to come out of the theater discussing the fantastic nature of the world they just experienced and are bound to reflect on the subtle similarities with real-life experiences. Dads with a taste for historical action epics are sure to be taken in by Guillermo Del Toro’s poetic vision of Spain in the thirties.

 

In addition to being hailed as one of the best films of 2006, Pan’s Labyrinth has won numerous film awards, including Academy Awards for Achievements in Cinematography, Makeup, and Art Direction.