Released 1/19/07 Rated: R
This film is simply a piece of art. I’ll admit that it took me a while to warm up to it. But after I watched it like five times to be able to write a paper on it, I really like it. It’s in Spanish, so it’s subtitled. Actually, here’s a little tidbit of information: the guy who played the faun in this film doesn’t speak Spanish at all. So he had everybody else on set helping him out. He sure fooled me.
Guillermo del Toro’s masterpiece won three Academy Awards: Best Cinematography, Art Direction, and Makeup. If you’ve already seen this movie, you know why. It is art come to life. Now, be warned, it is a bit dark, so if you’re expecting something along the lines of Snow White, you’re going to find yourself totally off the mark. It’s been called both a “gothic fairy tale,” and a “fairy tale for grownups.” And just so we’re clear, it’s rated R for graphic violence and some language.
The colors of each world (the real world and the fantasy world) contrast with each other so well. The real world has mainly shades of blue, making it seem cold and cruel. While the fantasy world is full of beautiful colors and is warm and inviting. And the creatures depicted in this film are just superb! You can definitely tell that a tremendous amount of work went in to making these creatures. They look so real! It’s worth checking out just for that.
So the film follows around Ofelia as she’s being thrown into this new world with her new step-father and is forced to grow up. She just loves her fairy tales, but with her rigid new home and a mysterious labyrinth in the backyard, the fairy tale finds her. Said to be the long-awaited reincarnation of the Princess of the fantasy world, Ofelia has to complete three tasks to prove that she is the princess before she can return home. And with the ruthless captain as her overbearing step-father, it’s no wonder she wants to get away. However, Ofelia soon finds out that no matter which world she chooses to cling to, life is not all fairy tales and happy endings.
I would definitely recommend this movie. It’s a great story, and is stunning visual-wise. This film is not going to let you forget it very easily. You will be coming back to revisit this world, I promise.