Home ForumsPodcastComicBlogsLive ChatCompetitions
 

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/show_news.php on line 16

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/show_news.php on line 36

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/inc/shows.inc.php on line 23

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/inc/shows.inc.php on line 23

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/inc/shows.inc.php on line 23

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/inc/shows.inc.php on line 23

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/inc/shows.inc.php on line 23

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/inc/shows.inc.php on line 23

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/inc/shows.inc.php on line 23

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/inc/shows.inc.php on line 23

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/inc/shows.inc.php on line 23

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/inc/shows.inc.php on line 23

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/inc/shows.inc.php on line 23

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/inc/shows.inc.php on line 23

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/inc/shows.inc.php on line 23

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/inc/shows.inc.php on line 23

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/inc/shows.inc.php on line 23

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/inc/shows.inc.php on line 23

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/inc/shows.inc.php on line 23

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/inc/shows.inc.php on line 23

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/inc/shows.inc.php on line 23

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/inc/shows.inc.php on line 23

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/inc/shows.inc.php on line 23

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/inc/shows.inc.php on line 23

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/inc/shows.inc.php on line 23

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/inc/shows.inc.php on line 23

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/inc/shows.inc.php on line 23

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/inc/shows.inc.php on line 23
 Pan's Labyrinth
The remarkable opening frames of Pan's Labyrinth may ring a few bells you've seen Christopher Nolan's paranoid masterpiece Memento. Shot in reverse, here the image of a dying figure is depicted with the droplets of blood running back into the body. Although this brand of complex but flashy cinematic technique bears no relevance to the rest of the movie's new-fangled fantasy, its dynamism and vitality most certainly does. Consequently, it may come as a surprise to learn that the director of this historic reverie is also responsible for Blade II amongst other Hollywood catastrophes. Despite this, Guillermo Del Toro is an official member of the holy trinity of contemporary Mexican auters along with Harry Potter director Alfonso Cauron and Alejandro Gonzalez of 21 Grams fame. Cauron acted as executive producer on Labyrinth and Del Toro is currently taking up editing duties on Gonzalez's Brad Pitt melodrama Babel. Each film-maker pitches in to assist their fellow directors like one happy cinematic brotherhood.

Thankfully a far cry from del Toro's days as a sequel factory, Pan's Labyrinth is unambiguously stunning. An innovative fairy-tale that avoids the pseudo-medieval fantasy tripe of, say, Lord of the Rings, but is still a resolutely diverse and creative vision. Set during the Spanish Civil War in 1944, young Ofelia accompanies her pregnant mother to a military base where her fascist stepfather, Captain Vidal, fights left-wing rebels. Meanwhile, and this where the history lesson transforms into a dark fable, the eponymous Pan, a benevolent faun, visits Ofelia accompanied by a myriad of storybook creatures. In order that she returns to her mythical homeland through the base's mysterious labyrinth, Ofelia is required to complete a number of fearsome tasks. This is an astounding concept given the austere and violent backdrop but the film might also be interpreted as an anti-fascist allegory. Therefore, the first politically fervent masterwork that springs to mind is surely Victor Erice's Spirit of the Beehive in which a youngster dreams of Hollywood monsters in Franco's Spain. You see, testament to Labyrinth's inspired range; it is homage to classic Spanish cinema, an intelligent political essay and a disquieting legend rolled into one.

In terms of acting credentials, del Toro's mini magnum opus is neither wanting nor marginally inconsequential which, given the Andy Serkis like mannerisms of Pan performer Doug Jones, it could be easily accused. On the contrary, Jones is an enchanting figure, fluidly hopping from the gruff tenderness of Pan to his secondary role as the alarming Pale Man of the movie's most outlandish sequence. Elsewhere Sergi Lopez plays Captain Vidal with such unnerving cruelty that it almost feels as though del Toro is playing out an blunt anti-fascist tirade through Lopez's brutal role-play.

Like sketchbook daydreams brought captivatingly to life, dark netherworlds are populated by abhorrent giant toads and nasty satyrs. A vision atoned to the imagination of the new, albeit less twee, Tim Burton. In the past del Toro's mistakes (Hellboy anyone?) have been overshadowed by some gems like Cronos, his bug-vampire shocker and The Devil's Backbone, of which this is an informal sequel. Labyrinth is sadly not without its very minor pratfalls; some richer dialogue wouldn't have gone amiss and who exactly was del Toro aiming this at? Fantasy geeks or sixth form history teachers? Never mind.

Nevertheless, this crowning achievement for a director who will no doubt go onto challenge perceptions is a late addition to the year's surprisingly fruitful output. This is a pitch black cavalcade for your murky senses.

8.5 out of 10

Buy Pan's Labyrinth now at Play.com
Digg This
Back to top Print

Warning: Division by zero in /var/sites/e/eurofusion.net/public_html/admin/inc/functions.inc.php on line 259