21 February 2007

Pan’s Labrynth

Whether it’s more embarrassing not to have seen Pan’s Labrynth until a couple of weeks ago or not to have written about it until now I’m not sure, but there you have it: I managed both feats.

In short: brilliant film. Most interesting to me was how director Guillermo del Toro manages to avoid the magical realism that one might’ve expected. The project is more subtle than that. Unlike in standard magical realist fare, the status of the fantastical realm is left purposely ambiguous in the film. It’s unclear whether what we see is real or merely the projection of a child’s imagination. And it’s in that ambiguity that the film really thrives.

I’ve long since grown weary of Terry Gross, but in spite of herself, this interview with del Toro is captivating. Particularly moving, I thought, was his notion of monsters as surrogates for deities: lovely idea.

A battery of reviews may be found, as always, at Rotten Tomatoes. An unscripted exchange between del Toro and the leading actress, Ivana Baquero, can be found here. And lastly, here’s the trailer:

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