Not long to go now before I complete my 365 things for which I am grateful.
If you’re a newcomer to this blog, at the beginning of 2014 I decided to embark on a project that highlighted just how lucky we, in the ‘West’, are in comparison to many other people around the world. And how much we take for granted – such as running water, a roof over our heads or food in our bellies.
Today’s offering is a magical movie directed by Guillermo del Toro, called Pan’s Labyrinth.
It’s the story of Ofelia who travels with her pregnant mother to meet her sadistic step-father, the brutal Captain Vidal, at his base in the north of Spain where he is fighting the post-civil war rebels.
Once there, she is befriended by a maid by the name of Mercedes who is helping the rebels with medical supplies, information and such.
One night, a fairy comes to Ofelia and takes her to meet a faun in a secret labyrinth. Now, when I say, ‘fairy’, don’t be thinking of Tinkerbell or some pretty, pink fluffy thing with wings. This fairy bears more of a resemblance to a flying stick insect than a Winx Club. (Which prods us to wonder if this is all just in Ofelia’s imagination to help her through the violence and misery of her surroundings.)
Once in the bowels of the Earth, the faun tells her that she is the princess of a long-forgotten kingdom and, if she is to meet her real father – the king – ever again, she must complete three grizzly tasks to prove her loyalty.
Of course, Ofelia is well up for it and goes about her task with such vim that an I’m a Celebrity contestant would only balk in horror at.
Meanwhile, her mother is a sickly lass and has taken to her bed. The vile Captain Vidal has his hands full torturing and butchering rebels and has no time for Ofelia.
It all comes to a head when Ofelia kidnaps her newborn baby brother to protect him from his evil father. Unfortunately, Captain Vidal, who only has eyes for his son and heir, has other plans for Ofelia…
Pan’s Labyrinth is spine-tingling fairytale for adults.
Exquisitely filmed and beautifully acted, the film is both horrific and enchanting. And, I for one, am grateful that I got the opportunity to see it. Several times.
Here’s the trailer, but you can actually watch the entire film on YouTube if you like. Don’t know what the quality’s like, mind.