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Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
"El laberinto del fauno" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama, Fantasy, War  |  19 January 2007 (USA)
8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 400,184 users   Metascore: 98/100
Reviews: 1,056 user | 396 critic | 37 from Metacritic.com

In the falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Álex Angulo ...
Manolo Solo ...
César Vea ...
Roger Casamajor ...
Ivan Massagué ...
Gonzalo Uriarte ...
Francés
Eusebio Lázaro ...
Padre
Francisco Vidal ...
Sacerdote (as Paco Vidal)
Juanjo Cucalón ...
Alcalde
Lina Mira ...
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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. Written by Tim

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Open the door to another world and an exciting new vision in cinema See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

19 January 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pan's Labyrinth  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

€13,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$779,427 (USA) (29 December 2006)

Gross:

$37,623,143 (USA) (8 June 2007)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It has been said that, for the fairy eating scene, Doug Jones had to bite condoms filled with fake blood. See more »

Goofs

After the car stops for Carmen at the start of the film, Carmen gets back into the car first followed by Ofelia who is sitting on the right hand side as they drive off. When the car arrives at the mill Carmen gets out of the car from the right hand side followed by Ofelia. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Pan: 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...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title and the names of the actors and the production staff are not shown until the end of the film. See more »


Soundtracks

Long, Long Time Ago/Hace mucho, mucho tiempo
Written by Javier Navarrete
Produced by Emmanuel Chamboredon Ian P. Hierons
Courtesy of Milan Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A fey, beautiful and dark masterpiece
23 November 2006 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Set during Franco's mopping up exercise after the Spanish Civil War, Guillermo Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth is a wonderful, dark fairy tale that, in a metaphor for Spain itself, teeters on the edge of nightmare dreamscapes of corruption, violence and the death of innocents.

This film is definitely not for young children. Although the fantasy sequences are gorgeously realised, and are fairy tales in the truest sense (in that they are dark, fey, dangerous and violent), most of the story (about three quarters of it, in fact) exists outside of the dreamland, in the even more frightening (and sometimes shockingly violent) world of a real life struggle of ideas and ideology.

Sergi Lopez is excellent as the brutal (and possibly sadistic) Falangist Captain tasked with routing out the remaining leftists from the woods and hills of Northern Spain. Into this precarious situation come his new wife (a widow of a former marriage, who is carrying his son) and his stepdaughter Ofelia (played to absolute perfection, by the then 11 year old, Ivana Baquero).

Uncomfortable with her new surroundings, suspicious of her stepfather and desperately concerned about the worsening condition of her mother, Ofelia uncovers a strange alternative world, and the chance to escape forever the pain and uncertainty of her everyday life.

Thus the film alternates between the world of Civil War Spain and the increasingly bizarre, dark and frightening world of the Pan's Labyrinth. As the twin plots progress, they intertwine, with the tasks of Ofelia becoming the choices faced by a Spain at the crossroads. The poignancy of the film lies partly in the fact that the victories of the child are reflected so starkly by the failures of the adult world.

Apparently Pan's Labyrinth won a 20-minute standing ovation at Cannes, when it was shown. This may be a little bit over the top. I suspect when the furore has died down some will choose to swing the pendulum back and criticise it for its more obvious faults. Much of the film is derivative. There are few ideas in the film's magical dreamworld that haven't been seen before. There are also few ideas in the film's depiction of the Civil War that can't be read in Satre or Orwell; can't be viewed in Picasso's Guernica; or can't be watched in Land and Freedom.

For all the evident truth of these observations, to accept them would be to entirely miss the majesty of Pan's Labyrinth, which doesn't lie in its originality but its absolute mastery of execution. People will watch Pan's Labyrinth in a way that most won't watch Land and Freedom. In doing so, they will also discover a world of fairy tales which existed before Disney sunk its claws into them: a dangerous world, where nothing is as it seems and every step is a possible death – a place which may leave even adults shivering under the duvet, part in terror, part in wonder. And all this backed up by the finest cinematography I've seen.

The only real faults I am prepared to allow for this film is a slight tendency (particularly at the end) for a Narnia-like moralism, and the fact that the faun is, perhaps, is not quite wild enough! These are eminently forgivable, though. This is easily the best film I've seen this year, and a must see on the big screen.


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