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Easton Gray
Easton Gray

Pan's Labyrinth |LINK|

The story takes place in Spain during the summer of 1944, five years after the Spanish Civil War, during the early Francoist period. The narrative intertwines this real world with a mythical world centered on an overgrown, abandoned labyrinth and a mysterious faun creature, with whom the main character, Ofelia, interacts. Ofelia's stepfather, the Falangist Captain Vidal, hunts the Spanish Maquis who fight against the Francoist regime in the region, while Ofelia's pregnant mother Carmen grows increasingly ill. Ofelia meets several strange and magical creatures who become central to her story, leading her through the trials of the old labyrinth garden. The film employs make-up, animatronics, and CGI effects to bring life to its creatures.

Pan's Labyrinth

In a fairy tale, Princess Moanna, whose father is the king of the underworld, visits the human world, where the sunlight blinds her and erases her memory. She becomes mortal and eventually dies. The king believes that eventually, her spirit will return to the underworld, so he builds labyrinths, which act as portals, around the world in preparation for her return.

In 1944 Francoist Spain, ten-year-old Ofelia travels with her pregnant but sickly mother Carmen to meet Captain Vidal, her new stepfather. Vidal believes strongly in Falangism and has been assigned to hunt down republican rebels. A large stick insect, which Ofelia believes to be a fairy, leads Ofelia into an ancient stone labyrinth, but she is stopped by Vidal's housekeeper Mercedes, who is secretly supporting her brother Pedro and other rebels. That night, the insect appears in Ofelia's bedroom, where it transforms into a fairy and leads her through the labyrinth. There, she meets a faun, who believes she is the reincarnation of Princess Moanna. He gives her a book and tells her she will find in it three tasks to complete in order for her to acquire immortality and return to her kingdom.

Mercedes, having been discovered to be a spy, tries to escape with Ofelia, but they are caught. Ofelia is locked in her bedroom, while Mercedes is taken to be interrogated and tortured. Mercedes frees herself, and stabs Vidal non-lethally in her escape to re-join the rebels. The faun, having changed his mind about giving Ofelia a chance to perform the third task, returns and tells her to bring her newborn brother into the labyrinth to complete it. Ofelia successfully retrieves the baby and flees into the labyrinth. Vidal pursues her as the rebels launch an attack on the outpost. Ofelia meets the faun at the centre of the labyrinth.

The faun suggests drawing a small amount of the baby's blood, as completing the third task and opening the portal to the underworld requires the blood of an innocent, but Ofelia refuses to harm her brother. Vidal finds her talking to the faun, whom he cannot see. The faun leaves, and Vidal takes the baby from Ofelia's arms before shooting her. Vidal returns to the labyrinth's entrance, where he is surrounded by rebels, including Mercedes and Pedro. Knowing that he will be killed, he hands the baby to Mercedes, asking that his son be told about him. Mercedes replies that his son will not even know his name. Pedro then shoots Vidal dead.

Mercedes enters the labyrinth and comforts a motionless, dying Ofelia. Drops of Ofelia's blood fall down the centre of the spiral stone staircase onto an altar. Ofelia, well dressed and uninjured, then appears in a golden throne room. The King of the underworld tells her that, by choosing to spill her own blood rather than that of another, she passed the final test. The faun praises Ofelia for her choice, addressing her once more as "Your Highness". The Queen of the underworld, her mother, invites Ofelia to sit next to her father and rule at his side. Back in the stone labyrinth, Ofelia smiles as she dies.

Del Toro has said the film has strong connections in theme to The Devil's Backbone and should be seen as an informal sequel dealing with some of the issues raised there. Fernando Tielve and Íñigo Garcés, who played the protagonists of The Devil's Backbone, make cameo appearances as unnamed guerrilla soldiers in Pan's Labyrinth. Some of the other works he drew on for inspiration include Lewis Carroll's Alice books, Jorge Luis Borges' Ficciones, Arthur Machen's The Great God Pan and The White People, Lord Dunsany's The Blessing of Pan, Algernon Blackwood's Pan's Garden and Francisco Goya's works. In 2004, del Toro said: "Pan is an original story. Some of my favourite writers (Borges, Blackwood, Machen, Dunsany) have explored the figure of the god Pan and the symbol of the labyrinth. These are things that I find very compelling and I am trying to mix them and play with them."[17] It was also influenced by the illustrations of Arthur Rackham.[18]

Ofelia encounters a strange insect looking like a praying mantis. It shudders in and out of frame, and we're reminded of Del Toro's affection for odd little creatures (as in "Cronos," with its deep-biting immortality bug). The insect, friendly and insistent, seems to her like a fairy, and when she says so, the bug becomes a vibrating little man who leads her into a labyrinth and thus to her first fearsome meeting with the faun (Doug Jones, who specializes in acting inside bizarre costumes). Some viewers have confused the faun with Pan, but there is no Pan in the picture and the international title translates as "Labyrinth of the Faun."

Del Toro moves between many of these scenes with a moving foreground wipe -- an area of darkness, or a wall or a tree that wipes out the military and wipes in the labyrinth, or vice versa. This technique insists that his two worlds are not intercut, but live in edges of the same frame. He portrays most of the mill interiors in a cold blue-grey slate, but introduces life tones into the faces of characters we favor, and into the fantasy world. It is no coincidence that the bombs of the rebels introduce red and yellow explosions into the monotone world they attack.

Living with her tyrannical stepfather in a new home with her pregnant mother, 10-year-old Ofelia feels alone until she explores a decaying labyrinth guarded by a mysterious faun who claims to know her destiny. If she wishes to return to her real father, Ofelia must complete three terrifying tasks.

Ofelia and her mother are taken to a villa in the mountains near an old labyrinth (the titular Faun's one) to be near Captain Vidal for the birth while he hunts down rebels. She is quickly taken into a Changeling Fantasy about how she is secretly princess of the underworld fairy kingdom, lost to humanity for many ages. The Faun and his labyrinth were one of many made by her father, the King of the Underworld, as gateways in the hope she would return.

The faun convinces Ofelia that she's the lost princess of a nearby garden labyrinth, which to her eyes is a magical wonderland, while others see it merely as an overgrown row of messy hedges. To earn her royal birthright, Ofelia must complete three tasks, each more difficult and terrifying than the previous one

THE SUNDAY TIMES AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERThis enthralling novel, inspired by the 2006 film, illustrates that fantasy is the sharpest tool to explore the terrors and miracles of the human heartYou shouldn't come in here. You could get lost. It has happened before. I'll tell you the story one day, if you want to hear it. In fairy tales, there are men and there are wolves, there are beasts and dead parents, there are girls and forests. Ofelia knows all this, like any young woman with a head full of stories. And she sees right away what the Capitán is, in his immaculate uniform, boots and gloves, smiling: a wolf.But nothing can prepare her for the fevered reality of the Capitán's eerie house, in the midst of a dense forest which conceals many things: half-remembered stories of lost babies; renegade resistance fighters hiding from the army; a labyrinth; beasts and fairies.There is no one to keep Ofelia safe as the labyrinth beckons her into her own story, where the monstrous and the human are inextricable, where myths pulse with living blood ...

In 1944, Ofelia got killed in the middle of the night by her cruel stepfather, Captain Vidal, in Spain and within the labyrinth. Following potentially delusional orders from a faun within the structure, she's told to kidnap her newborn brother from Vidal's office and bring him to the labyrinth for a third task. After refusing to complete the task to regain her lost kingdom however, which involved sacrificing a small amount of her baby brother's blood, she's cornered by Vidal and returns the baby to him per his demands. In return, she's immediately shot in the stomach for her actions. Touching her stomach and seeing the bright red blood, she'd turn pale and collapse, her death witnessed by the housekeeper Mercedes, her elder brother Pedro and his army, and her baby brother. Ofelia died of severe stomach injuries, her bloody hand extended with her fingers slightly curled, looking lifeless and pale mere seconds after being shot. Despite the tragedy, her mourned death would be a form of beneficial sacrifice for the rest of her family, and for the rest of the nation, as Vidal is able to be killed immediately after. His tyranny and horrible reign finally ended, her baby brother now has a better chance at freedom and happier living than she did.

Outside her new home Ofelia finds a mysterious stone labyrinth, crumbling and mossy and gnarled with roots. "It's just a pile of rocks that has always been here," says Mercedes (Maribel Verdú), a kind housekeeper. Ofelia learns otherwise when a fairy lures her into the maze and down, down, down spiral steps into a clammy chamber occupied by a faun. 041b061a72


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