Fledgling writer Briony Tallis, as a 13-year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit. Based on the British romance novel by Ian McEwan.
In 1944 fascist 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. Written by
Ivana Baquero was too old to play the lead part originally written for an eight- or nine-year-old, but Guillermo del Toro was so impressed that he revised it to accommodate the 11-year-old actress. See more »
The instructions tell Ofelia to turn the hourglass over when the door opens, but she waits until she has entered the Pale Man's domain. See more »
A long time ago, in the underground realm, where there are no lies or pain, there lived a Princess who dreamed of the human world. She dreamed of blue skies, soft breeze, and sunshine. One day, eluding her keepers, the Princess escaped. Once outside, the brightness blinded her and erased every trace of the past from her memory. She forgot who she was and where she came from. Her body suffered cold, sickness, and pain. Eventually, she died. However, her father, the King, always knew...
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The two "Stick Insects" are credited as Cheech and Chong, after which it says "MAY THEY REST IN PEACE". See more »
It's good, but nowhere near as good as the reviews would have you believe
I had unsurmountable expectations for this one, and, alas, they remain unsurmounted. It didn't even come close. It is an entertaining film, but, as a whole, it feels half-baked. Near the end of the Spanish Civil War, a little girl, Ofelia, is taken with her pregnant mother to an old mill, where her new husband, a sadistic army captain, awaits. At the mill, she meets a fairy who leads her to a faun, who asks her to perform three tasks so she might take her place as princess of a magical kingdom. It's less a fantasy film than a fairy tale. In that way, I suppose I'm obliged to forgive that its fantasy world goes completely unrealized and remains paper thin throughout. Honestly, except for a couple of sequences, there really isn't a fantasy world. Most of the film takes place in the real world, where the Captain is trying to rid the area of some pesky rebels and Ofelia's mother is struggling to survive her difficult pregnancy. What is much harder to forgive, though, is that Guillermo del Toro extends the two-dimensionality to the Spanish Civil War setting. The Captain is a completely cartoonish bad guy, and the situation is seen completely in black and white. I mean, we're talking about a real conflict here where many people died. It's kind of insulting. If this were an American made film, people would be railing against it. It's also insulting to Spirit of the Beehive, on which del Toro has said he based the film. Where Spirit is a gentle yet effective study on the nature of human cruelty, Pan celebrates human cruelty with extremely violent sequences which are meant to be enjoyed as they are in action films (the director did, of course, previously make Blade II and Hellboy). Wow, it sounds like I hated this film! I didn't, really. I have some ideological problems with it, obviously, and I wish it were better than it is. But it is an enjoyable little horror/fantasy film. You could do better, but you could do worse, too.
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