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Movie Review of Pan’s Labyrinth by Guillermo Del Toro

Updated on October 24, 2011
Pan's Labyrinth
Pan's Labyrinth | Source

Pan’s Labyrinth is a fantasy based Mexican- Spanish film released in the year 2006. Released as El Laberinto Del Fauno (the original title), it is one of the best directional efforts from director Guillermo Del Toro. The film was critically well acclaimed and was also nominated for the best foreign language Oscar in the 79th Academy Awards in the year 2007.

The plot of the film is set during the Spanish civil war and revolves around the quest of an 11-year old girl named Ofelia. She is a sensitive girl facing relocation along with her extremely sick mother to a secluded military outpost. The camp commander, the main antagonist of the film is the stepfather of Ofelia and undoubtedly a cruel and vicious person. The only good thing about her stay in the military outpost is the company of a sympathetic housekeeper.

For her emancipation from an oppressive environment, Ofelia moves into a world of fantasy where she follows a dragonfly and witnesses a world full of visually spellbinding enchantment. There she meets a goatish godling Pan (a type of faun) who tells her that she is actually a successor to a whole kingdom but in order to meet her family and stay in the real world it is necessary for her to successfully accomplish 3 major tasks. Ofelia finds herself torn apart between the fantasy and real world. In a cunning use of imagery and plot development, you will notice that Ofelia experiences the presence of “monsters” in both worlds.

Good acting is one of the major factors to watch Pan’s Labyrinth. Actress Ivana Baquero does a good job in her role as Ofelia, as she experiences her ordeals in both the real world and that of fantasy. Sergi López is remarkable in the role of Capt. Vidal with his pitiless and highly brutal human nature. You will not observe any trace of cartoonish evil in his character, but a person who is silent and understated but vicious in nature.Doug Jones (as the faun) and the pale man can easily frighten young viewers.

The directional efforts of Guillermo Del Toro are purely sublime.The director exhibits magnificent artistic vision with the fantasy world he creates for Ofelia to explore. His use of imagery and portrayal of the sinister nature of our world and of some of the people who inhabit it is cleverly done by using Ofelia’s youthful innocence as she comes to grip with the realities in her new surroundings.When compared to the conventional movies, Pan’s Labyrinth is certainly heart wrenching, a very compelling visual treat and emotionally honest at the same time.


There are several scenes in the film that can be disturbing for the young viewers.But for a more mature audience who wish to see a good fantasy film with a good story and excellent portrayals of the interesting characters, this movie is a ‘must watch’.The film has a dark atmosphere, good acting and a strong plotline.Additionally, for fans of visually spellbinding films this is truly a highly recommended choice.

2011 Moira G Gallaga©


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    • moiragallaga profile image

      Moira Garcia Gallaga 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you everyone for your comments. It is a beautiful film isn't it? I myself isn't so much a fan of fantasy films but the story is so compelling and profound, it's an all-time best for me.

    • kripkrip420 profile image

      kripkrip420 6 years ago from In relation to what?

      I absolutely love this movie! Great hub! Great to now that some people have not lost their imaginations! Voted up and awesome!

    • a portuguese love profile image

      maria fernandes 6 years ago from Figueira da Foz Portugal

      A great movie! More, a perfect one. Mixing reality and fiction isn't easy. Music is very good too!

    • aleasha1222 profile image

      aleasha1222 6 years ago

      This is a great movie, loved it

    • Fullerman5000 profile image

      Ryan Fuller 6 years ago from Louisiana, USA

      This movie was visually stunning. Some parts actually freaked me out a bit. I am not to much into fantasy, but this film kept me interested. Great review. Voted useful and voted up.

    • marriedwithdebt profile image

      marriedwithdebt 6 years ago from Illinois

      Really enjoyed this film - have seen it a few times. I think the subtitles actually make it better and keep you engaged to the plot.