Monday, January 15, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth

I have witnessed genius this evening.

I saw Pan's Labyrinth and it was sad and sweet and heartbreaking.

It was everything I like to see in a movie, good guys, bad guys, imagery that will knock your socks off and an ending that will cleave your heart in twain.

I'm madly in love with the setting. I have been since "The Devil's Backbone." And the way Del Toro uses the setting to tell his stories is enough to take your breath away.

There isn't much I can say about this film that I'm sure others haven't said better, but I was struck by a few things in particular. Chiefly, it reminded me very much of the general thesis of Kurt Vonnegut's "Cat's Cradle." It would be presumptuous of me to boil it down to a sentence or two, but allow me to try: It seems that even though organized religion (or a more base belief in the fantastical, in the case of Pan's Labyrinth) is completely fictional, as long as it causes a relief of pain and suffering and makes people feel better about themselves and their situation, it's a fine thing indeed. It truly is the opiate of the masses, but in a good way, generally.

I felt that this story fairly well re-affirmed that sort of idea. Perhaps Ofelia is dreaming everything, but if that makes things better for her, in the end, who are we to argue?

Like most works of art, it also remains as a stinging indictment against the preposterous indignities of wars. It seems that any film that has anything to do with any war, anywhere from any time, shed light on the idea that the people calling the shots aren't exactly in tune with things like empathy or humanity or really, anything worth being in tune to.

There are hundreds of things I could praise in a review of a film like this, but what would the point be?

At the end of the day, when you like a movie as much as I liked this one, all I can do is say, "Go see it for yourself." And when you do, all I can ask is that you like it as much as I did.

Read PART TWO here.


Dag, yo said...

Where do you see these movies? Is Pan's Labyrinth playing somewhere in UT right now? DVD? BitTorrent?

My friend and I really wanted to see this, but it's not playing anywhere in Utah. I would download it, but I usually only do that if I wouldn't normally pay money for it.

Bryan said...

I acquired a copy for the purposes of review.

It opens at the Broadway on the 2nd of February and I'll be there, opening day, to see it again.

Duckie Butters said...


Even though you tricked me into seeing the real crapper of movie, Rocky Balboa, I think I just might give this one a try.

Great work on the blog! Your almost daily posts assure that there is always something to read up on in politics and film.




Steve sure has been quite the ass lately. What's the deal with that?

Did you come up with a name for your obesity doc yet? How about a website?

Peter said...

Damn. I thought you gave too much away with that one. :(