Pot Maze

Pan’s Labyrinth – Basically, the plot of this one is that, in fascist Spain, a widow marries a nasty captain who enjoys killing and torturing people, and brings her ten-year-old daughter Ofelia to his estate with her. She imagines that the labyrinth on his property is a fantasy world inhabited by fairies and a rather creepy faun. Is it all in her imagination, or really happening? There are certainly hints that it might be real, but I feel that Ofelia is never properly vindicated. I guess it would have been a less disturbing film if she had been, but I was still hoping. Anyway, regardless of whether or not it’s real, the faun tells Ofelia that she is actually the Princess of the Underworld incarnated into human form, and she has to pass a series of tests to return to her own world. She screws up on one test and I have to wonder why she does, as she’s established as a big fan of fairy tales. As such, she should know that eating fairy food is never a good idea.

Meanwhile, in the real world, Ofelia’s mother dies in childbirth and a group of rebels is fighting against the captain. The ending is sort of mixed, as it’s tragic for the girl, but there’s a bit of hope there as well. I really could have done with more of the fantasy world, but I still thought it was a good film. One thing I do take issue with is the English title, since the faun never claims to be Pan. The original Spanish title is El labertinto del fauno, and since Pan’s Latin name is Faunus, that could mean “Pan’s Labyrinth” or simply “The Faun’s Labyrinth.” I think the latter title would have been a better translation.

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