Pan’s Labyrinth surprised one and all with the 6 Academy Award nominations that it received in its release year of 2006, even though it is not a Hollywood production but a Mexican film. Eventually it won the Oscar for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography and Best Makeup. All deserved, that’s for sure.
However, concerning the contents of the film I have to say that I’m a bit disappointed as the film seems to make promises in the promos that it can’t keep. This magical atmosphere with all the weird but fascinating creatures delivered in the trailer is not the main part of the movie. The main part is the story of a girl, her mother and her mean stepfather who is an officer during the Spanish post-Civil War in 1944. The movie is actually a political drama, but in the fantasy scenes it seems to be highly influenced by Alice in Wonderland. These scenes are quite intriguing and well made, but don’t really suit the political contents.
All in all, the cinematography is very good, as well as costumes, makeup and also the acting can’t be criticized. However, the plot is somehow fragmented in two parts whereas one captures you more than the other. Given the slow pace of the film, you wish the plot would have been more coherent. The ending including the last few sentences told by the narrator, however, convey a very comprehensible and really moving message and kind of explain what the movie was all about. Watch the movie for its last 2 minutes!
|photo sources: [amazon.de], [digitalvoodoo.de], [kulthit.de] & [nahaufnahmen.ch]|