Post your Pan’s Labyrinth comments here!

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19 thoughts on “Post your Pan’s Labyrinth comments here!

  1. Danielle Quinn September 15, 2016 / 3:28 am

    Pans Labyrinth shows the common desire people have to create their own reality and change the things they don’t like. Ofelia’s alternate universe provided her with the ability to have control and live how she wished instead of her actual world where she always had to do what others said. I found Vidal’s obsession with time to be quite interesting also, especially since it directly correlated with his obsession with death. His perception of ‘time’ was different from Ofelia’s, however they were both anxious for it to run out. I think we all are conscious that sooner or later our clock will stop so a majority of us spend it stressing over the past and trying to control our future that we forget to live for the moment.

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  2. Diondra Williams September 16, 2016 / 2:01 pm

    First of all i must say this movie was very graphic (I’m sort of a chicken when it comes to beating in people’s faces, or slicing their lips half open across their face)! However the movie was really good, it reminded me of how we are all trying to get through this thing called “life”, all while trying to find our true “purpose”. Unlike the movie though, we are not able to open “the book” and see just what each chapter of our life holds (or what is going to happen next). We encounter “evil” through our everyday walks of life such as temptation or human interaction (the Captain). (Just as Ofelia was told to not eat upon the food on the table she did because it was temptation). Are we not faced with such temptation everyday? I’m glad the captain got what he deserved in the end though, he was an evil man with no regard to the emotions of other human being life (the devil at it’s best). I am however curious to know just what will become of Ofelia’s little brother. Will he come into his own and meet the faun one day to also be united with his mother and sister? The ending was sad, but in reality its something that comes to us all. Ofelia finally passed her “test” and was able to be with the spirits of her loved ones. If you stop to think about it although this may have been fairy tale, are we not all just wanting the same happy ending for ourselves? Are we not just wondering and trying to figure things out? Are we not trying to do things the right way so that we too will sit upon the throne with the ones we love? The movie also reminded me of how we all have this inner fight within ourselves, Mercedes for example was working for the Captain but also helping the men in the woods(which her brother belonged to). She was fighting with doing the right thing, but also fighting with what just felt right. She didn’t back down for, she knew in her heart what was the right thing to do. It does however suck that the doctor had to die, but at least he died with a clear conscious and his dignity. Sometimes in life people give their life for what they know is right, and for what they believe in (history proves this). Even though this may have just been a fairy tale, i feel the “purpose” for us all is really just the same, and this movie does a good way of interpreting that.

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  3. MacKenzie McKeithan-Prickett September 18, 2016 / 12:14 am

    I really liked the idea of using a movie to show a child’s imaginary world as a way of coping.The fact that so many children do this makes it a great idea for a movie. We are able to cope with the gross and terrible aspects throughout the movie as we see the world through Ofelia’s eyes just as she is able to cope with the idea of war. This is a great idea and concept that I really respect. The idea of time is different in Ofelia imaginary world and I think that’s cool. I like how Ofelia is able to go into her worlds (for example the one with the child eating monster) and we lose all sense of time with her…that is until we see the hourglass at the end and we are reminded of the sense of real time. I think the contrast between the two worlds is first evident at this time and I like how it is just hinted at. I think it is amazing how the director, Guillermo del Toro, fuses the two worlds together and we feel just as Ofelia does until the very end where we see the world from a different view, the view of the Captain’s, and we see that the fawn is actually a figment of Ofelia’s imagination. The fact that we were able to be Ofelia and see what she was going through at the same time throughout the whole movie was great because of how we were woken up to the real life at the very end when Ofelia both dies but is able to go to her kingdom…we see how sad and tragic the real world is but we still are satisfied that Ofelia got what she wanted and will be happy in her ‘after-life’.

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  4. Yaicha Ocampo September 18, 2016 / 12:44 am

    I loved watching this movie. I was very impressed by the creature creations, and I was fascinated by their character development. One of the scenes that struck me the most was Ofelia getting ready for the Captain’s dinner party. When she initially steps into the dress, I thought it really symbolized her innocence as a character. People called her an “angel” and “princess,” which added to her naive disposition in the beginning. It is during her first task with the frog that the dress falls to the ground and becomes thoroughly muddy, which I thought symbolized the transformation of her character. Corruption in the sense that she becomes disillusioned to reality and starts believing in her destiny. In the beginning of the movie, I assumed Faun had evil intentions with Ofelia because of his mysterious demeanor. I was pleasantly surprised at the end when I realized that he was a “good” character all along. I also found the Captain character very interesting regarding his obsession with his father’s pocket watch. We are told that his father actually broke the watch so that his son would know the time of his death, so I was intrigued by how the Captain always made sure the watch was ticking. I thought this could symbolize the Captain fearing death. Throughout the film, death is a common theme, but most characters are unafraid such as the Rebels, doctor and Mercedes. In the end, the Captain faces death unflinchingly, but he begs for Mercedes to tell his son about him. This scene makes me think that the Captain is more afraid of being forgotten than death itself. He is more concerned about his son and passing down his name than Ofelia’s mother. I also found the ending very upsetting; I was not expecting the Captain to shoot Ofelia. I think there is this unsaid limitation regarding the torture and death of children in movies; it is just not done. So, the murder of her character was extremely shocking for me. Though, Ofelia’s reunion with her family did give me hope.

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  5. Jeremiah Johnson September 18, 2016 / 6:07 pm

    I thought that the movie was really good, and I enjoyed a lot of the little touches that helped to put things together. There were a lot of small details, like how the fantastic sections mostly had a blue and grey color scheme, mostly taking place at night except for when Ofelia reunites with her family where everything is golden, bright and vibrant. Little details like that, the way that the captain wears gloves most of the time to distance himself from others, the fact that they discussed ration cards and hunger while at a feast, the traces of foreshadowing for the Faun being not quite as benevolent as he seems and for Mercedes being a spy make the movie a great one to watch and analyze. Every little detail seems important and intentional, like Ofelia extending her left hand to the captain at the beginning and offending him, but using her right to reach for the fairy, and Captain Vidal’s pocket watch being cracked. I thought it was a pretty good film and an excellent example of Magic Realism, with an emphasis on realness this time, despite the fantastic elements it was framed around a gritty war story about a fascist general and there is quite a bit of gore and murder throughout the film.

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  6. raymoye September 18, 2016 / 7:38 pm

    The way that this movie reflects two universes simultaneously existing is interesting. Though the narrative happening in the human realm is full of agony, it gave me hope to know that the underworld which Ophelia is a princess in was more joyous. I also found the juxtaposition of the ideas about authority in the two worlds to be quite powerful. In the human world, we see the absolute worst of power; the Captain uses his power in an evil and exploitative way. Contrastingly, in the end of the film the narrator tells us that Ophelia ruled in the underworld with love, peace, and an absence of absolute hierarchy. Due to the dramatically different narratives happening in the two worlds, I felt a mixture of both hope and sadness while watching the film.

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  7. Christopher Johnson September 18, 2016 / 11:49 pm

    It is interesting to thing of this movie in terms of the history of its time. The captain represents the authoritarian regime of Franco. We see his insistence of maintaining authority throughout, particularly when he asserts that the mother Carmen should sit down when she says she wants to stand. She is stripped of her power, and she is quickly made submissive and rather tragic to watch; but more, she tries to force this onto her daughter too. It isn’t the captain that talks to Ophelia about obedience, but the mother. The ideology becomes contagious, and it spreads itself.

    The captain is very insistent on having his son live, and I think it represents a continuing of his legacy; in history, it could be symbolized as continuing the future of Spain’s authoritarian ideology. Towards the end, he wants the son to remember who his father is, but Mercedes takes that away from him. She wants to kill it completely by tossing the captain’s legacy away and letting the son grow up away from that.

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  8. Veronica Good September 18, 2016 / 11:50 pm

    I thought this movie was incredibly well done, it was like Alice in Wonderland meets the Labyrinth meets war. Even though the plot is obviously fiction, the seamless transition from the mystical to the very real, brutal environment of war is truly amazing. The two worlds were very separate, but there was also a sort of parallel between the two. Her comfort in the magical world was the potential to open the portal to get to her parents, and in the real world, her comfort is her mother. There is also a threatening presence in both worlds, the Captain and the Faun (though the faun is not an antagonist like the captain). I also thought it was great that the conflicts in the two worlds overlapped. For instance, the magical cure of the mandrake given to Ofelia by the faun. Overall, I thought the film was a great escape story and a gruesome, but honest depiction of the brutality of a war environment. I will definitely watch this one again.

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  9. Alison Lane September 19, 2016 / 12:23 am

    This movie is absolutely stunning! I can’t believe the creatures and the special effects. I’m torn between two interpretations for the dual worlds that Ofelia goes between. On the one hand there is always the possibility that this intricate alternate world is her way of coping with the war and the toxic home life she is stuck in. But I couldn’t help thinking about the multiverse that we’d discussed Friday while watching. The idea that these aren’t necessarily two worlds eons apart, or even the difference between a child’s mind and reality kept creeping in. Once I read the review you’d posted here I really started to like the idea, because there was a line in it drawing attention to the fact that all of the transition scenes between the labyrinth and the “real” world were just sweeping pan overs. I think that this could be two worlds that border on each other separated by choices and time. They have similarities both have the potential for death or injury, a threatening figure, and a plethora of tasks and choices which Ofelia must carefully navigate. The importance of small details also reminded me so much of the Garden of Forking Paths, and that every tiny decision counts.

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  10. Lindsay September 19, 2016 / 12:41 am

    Full disclosure, I had to watch the movie twice to really understand everything, so I might not have gotten everything exactly as it was portrayed or meant to be understood. I first want to say it was more graphic then I had imagined it being, but it really didn’t bother me so much.

    I really focused a lot on the opposition of the binary in the movie how the parallels of the dual worlds really affects the viewers interpretation of the two realities. I don’t know if it was the sci-fi nerd in me or just the enjoyment of watching Ofelia take part and control the alternate universe, but I loved how she had the control to live as she wished. I also loved how that was set in juxtaposition of how the real world was in the movie with war and just a horrible life in general.

    I thought that Vidal’s thing with time and death paired nicely with Ofelia’s ability to control her own world, almost as mocking tone or plot device in saying you’ve got one character that can control, alter and change time all she wants and another who is completely obsessed with time ending or death.

    I really don’t know what exactly to make of the dual worlds, as in which one is real or not, but I almost want them both to be real in just different realities, that way even if the war that she is stuck in is real she has another real alternative to it in her own creation. As a Doctor Who fanatic I of course want to have endless multi- universe’s almost as in Borges Library how every word and story has already been written. So why can’t Ofelia’s have multiple worlds?

    Also I have to give a shout out to the special effects in this film. Really they were wild, I bet this movie would be amazing to watch in 3D.

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  11. Autumn Rivers September 19, 2016 / 1:47 am

    To be perfectly honest, this was a film that a struggled getting into at first, but I believe that was mainly because I was reading subtitles for the entire movie and I found it difficult to read what was going on and watch the scene; however, after about twenty minutes in I had gotten used to it and was sure glad that I had because I honestly did not expect to be watching a movie with so much violence and with the violence starting in the first half hour of the movie. I think the approach to essentially tell two stories, both involving the main character, Ofelia was a very interesting. The idea that she was using the alternate world as a coping mechanism for the chaos of the real world stuck with me throughout the entire film until the ending when we are given the impression that Vidal can also speak to the creatures that Ofelia was able to see throughout her magical quest. I do realize that he had been drugged a bit and maybe that was made him able to see the creatures, or maybe he, himself was trying to find an escape from his own problems. I do almost wish that the movie had not started with the ending scene, although I guess I didn’t realize it was the ending scene until we approached the end of the movie. Although Ofelia does die, she is able to finish what she set out to do and she is able to live on in this magical world. While watching this movie I honestly did not expect for so much violence and that almost made it too difficult to watch, but I’m glad I did power through (even if some of the creatures were a little scary looking too!). Overall I am very glad to have watched the movie and after some time, I was glad to be able to keep up with the two different worlds that the movie depicted!

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  12. Jaimie Mataosky September 19, 2016 / 5:09 am

    I found the movie very interesting; it was weird, different, and not my personal choice of genre. I felt bad for the little girl, she was forced into calling the captain her father even though she didn’t accept it. Her mom kept saying it’s just a word but for a little girl, it means so much more than that. I really liked the ending where she entered the world that she was originally born to where her mother and father were waiting however it confused me when the film went back out to her death scene. When she died did she end up in the magical world or did she just visit it before she died? I believe this world that she created was that of her own imagination to escape the horror of her actual life. The gruesome tasks helped her to be stronger to handle her real life. Overall, I loved the graphics and the filmography. The story was interesting and I found it intriguing however it was too graphic for my liking.

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  13. Elizabeth Tabor September 19, 2016 / 1:18 pm

    This movie was a visual treat to watch, and as far as the story goes it was just a heartwarming (and at times heart wrenching) ride full of as much twists and turns as the titular labyrinth itself. In fact, it seemed to me that the two portions of the film, the fantasy world and its opposing reality seemed to mirror each other terms of the overarching plot. It’s definitely a tale of not only how one girl uses her imagination and the books she reads to escape reality that has now become a harsh one besieged by war, but it is also a tale of growing up and coming into your own as you go from childhood into adulthood in how one must learn to think for yourself, be your own person, and being brave by facing both your fears and your reality head on just Ofelia does throughout the film. It also spoke of the love, hope, and overall importance of family . The visual effects were nothing short of spectacular and just so imaginative. I really loved how they seemed to blend figures from Greek mythology (the faun), Celtic mythology (fairies) as well as some original but just as creatively executed creatures with 1944 Spain, it really helped add to the intrigue and fantastical trek through the labyrinth of the story.
    I really found this film to be a story full of intrigue and very imaginative creatures and worlds all centered around the theme of hope and its importance in all of our lives.

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  14. Kyrah Clemons September 19, 2016 / 10:53 pm

    I thought the movie was very interesting and unexpected. Before watching it I was thinking it was going to be like a mythological thing, which it was in a way, but like completely immersed in the magical realm. I thought it was interesting how it went back and forth between the worlds throughout the movie. It reminded me of Bridge To Terabithia in that aspect. It was definitely weird with the strange creatures, the fairies, faun and the monsters but of course that was all apart of the magical world she went into. It reminded me of an escape, like she was trying to escape the harsh realities of life with the world and through reading. Which I think was why the quests she had to complete were in a book, not only is that a good place to keep things like that but rather than telling her the creatures knew she would read the books. I think the magical world gave a sense of hope, like a relief from the real world. The part towards the beginning when she found the crescent moon on her shoulder she seemed so relieved and happy she had found it. The movie also reminded me of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, with how Lucy found everything and it only appeared when she wasn’t looking for it. I think what we can take back from the movie might be that there’s always hope to be found even when you can’t see it very well. The labyrinth definitely gave her that sense of hope and belonging, especially towards the end after her mother dies and all she has left is her brother.

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  15. Vincent Phillips September 20, 2016 / 12:02 am

    Well just typed a much better comment than this will be.. As soon as I hit submit my wifi disconnected and I lost it all. This will be much more brief, as I am quite frustrated and the original was very good. But first off I am in awe of the special effects of this film. It creates a fantastical mood, despite being in a film which is grounded in the harsh realities of war. These harsh reality are equally depicted, as we see gruesome actions by Ofelia’s father being portrayed quite graphically. It is a dangerous world for the 11 year old heroine, and in search of some Truth, she finds herself immersed in an equally dangerous, yet imaginative dream world. As Ofelia follows fairies down into a deep, dark labyrinth, following orders from a creepy faun, the movie indeed begins to feel like a dream sequence. Actually, I first watched this movie late one night, and had vague representations of the faun and grotesque frogs appear in my own dreams. These shocking and graphic images of both war time and dream world, both owe homage to the groundbreaking surrealist work of artists like Dali, who contributed to shifts in film culture that began to accept this. An interesting struggle I noticed in the film was one of good and evil. Ofelia, good, her father evil, we can find a balance of both good and evil in the form of the faun, claiming to help her regain her world, while also coming of as previously mentioned, pretty damn creepy! Really enjoyed the film, and although it was a bit difficult to get into and draw concrete meaning from, it did send my mind down many thoughtful wormholes, and it will definitely be a film a come back to in the future.

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  16. Francesca Donio September 20, 2016 / 5:32 pm

    I really loved this film! Telling about a war through the point of view of a child is a powerful perspective. Ofelia’s world is painted in complete contrast to the reality of the world she is living in. Her world is surrounded by feelings of hope, adventure and bright colors. However, the contrasting world is filled with feelings of fear and confinement in a much darker setting. Everything contrasted, right down to the color scheme. I really enjoyed the creatures in the film, especially the Faun. I kind of found myself not knowing if I should trust the Faun, although at the end I realized he was a good character. Ofelia never seems to distrust the Faun, and clings to his words. However, although she trusts him she does not feel the need to be completely obedient to him. In the scene where Ofelia draws her way into the room with the feast, she eats from the table although the Faun warned her not too. And although she was told that eating from the table would mean certain death, Ofelia survives. In the fantasy world Ofelia is able to survive being disobedient, but at the end of the story in the real world she unfortunately cannot survive being disobedient. A finishing touch to the film that I really enjoyed was the image of the tree blossoming at the very end. This made me question if the world was really just in Ofelia’s imagination. It seems strange to me that this big labyrinth was just sitting behind a compound and no one ever bothered to explore it. I found myself wondering if the labyrinth was another realm of the universe simply invisible to those who had forgotten what was truly important in life.

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  17. Danielle Fladger September 20, 2016 / 9:20 pm

    Pans Labyrinth was filmed in 1994 in Spain but released in December 2006. The video is spoken in Spanish Ofelia was a young girl who was charmed with all types of fairy tales ended up getting sent off with her pregnant mom who is also ill to stay with her new stepfather. Ofelia stepfather was a cruel caption of the Spanish army. The army is assigned to kill and wipe out some gorilla rebels in the mountains. During the movie Ofelia meets a fairy that will take her in the middle of the Labyrinth. She comes encounter with an old faun and he gives her three things too complete so that her spirit would travel back to an underworld city. She carries books and nursey rhymes that shows that has an active imagination. The movie seems like a fairytale and then turns in a matter of time. During the movies some scenes I did not expect like they took a turn from the worst. For an example, when the Caption was interrupted and he hates that and he has to go outside because the guards caught two people they think are spies, and then he smashes one of their noses in. Then he shots the father who’s begging for his child. I think that this movie takes you on a journey that can either be about a war or either a fairytale. The one mission that had me very freaked out was seeing her having to retrieve the key from the frog and it was very disgusting seeing all the bugs in the frog’s mouth and she had to dig in the mouth to get the key. She was using this imaginary world and figures to get away from all the troubles of the outside world. The movie overall had me confused and interested to keep watching until the end. The movie was very sad and depressing to me. The worst scene was him killing the doctor because he chooses not to follow his orders. The best scene was seeing justice getting served to the captain. The handmade Mercedz a has a knife on her. So she decides to stab him in the back and in the chest, and arm and then sticks the knife in his mouth as he is on his knees and slashes him in the mouth. She even says to him that “this isn’t the first pig I’ve gutted”. This leaves him in pain for the rest of his life every time he tries to drink alcohol.

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  18. Krysten Elliott September 21, 2016 / 2:38 am

    I thought this movie was very interesting; it was definitely one of a kind! I’m not normally a fan of fantasy movies, but this one managed to keep me interested due to its contrast with real life. I couldn’t help but make comparisons with Christianity in the film such as Ophelia not being able to eat food from the feast (like Adam and Eve being told not to eat from the Tree of Life), and sacrificing her own life for her innocent baby brother (like Jesus sacrificed his life for us.) Even though the movie is supposed to leave viewers with a hopeful feeling, I still feel a twinge of darkness after watching it.

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