Monday, March 05, 2007
El Laberinto Del Fauno (Pan's Labyrinth)
This has got to be probably the best movie I have seen in 2006. The only picture that I have not seen and have missed out on is probably "Little Miss Sunshine" that AK keeps bugging me to see. Still, I think I can assert with a fair degree of truthfulness that it should be among the top three movies of 2006.
Roger Ebert says it is a fairy tale for adults. A very fitting one line description. However, it scarce does justice to the great picture that it is. Del Toro has created a veritable masterpiece. Brilliant direction, wonderful performances, tight screenplay and obviously Ivana Baquero as the little Ofelia (what a sweet kid!) make this a truly great picture.
I was once remarking something like this to Pandu: "For some movies/books (or any artform in general) you use the words like 'powerful', 'strong' etc, examples being NEUROMANCER (William Gibson) etc; for others you use words like 'beautiful', 'beautiiifoooooool' etc, examples being SIDEWAYS (Alexander Payne) and the APU TRILOGY (Ray) and yet others for which you use words like 'great' examples being EL LABERINTO DEL FAUNO (Guillermo Del Toro). I do not have either the time or the energy to write a complete review and detail the cinematic triumph that I find this movie to be. This post is supposed to be a brief hosanna from a crazed fan, not an astute cinematic dissection by a critic.
Given that many kids (my wingies say one thousand) auditioned for the role and the filmmakers narrowed down their search to one of them, it was pretty certain that the kid will be kickass. But I wasn't prepared for this. Totally brilliant. This kid seems to have an overbearing presense in the movie, even in scenes where she isn't there. That quiet smile of wonderment, that nuanced "Ola" and gentle grief she exudes in the picture is something Meryl Streep will be proud of. Accept a fan's praise!
Also brilliant is the wonderful role of Captain Vidal. The guy looks evil. Real evil.
It is a must for people of all ages, and also for children, even though the picture seems gruesome at points to say the least. It could be an adult fantasy if you are an imaginative adult (oxymoron?), a (diseased?) kid's brilliant imaginative take on events in War ridden Spain or just plain part fantasy, part arbit Director's cut or whatever you might want it to. But it is truly "What a Picture".