Living with her tyrannical stepfather in a new home with her pregnant mother, 10-year-old Ofelia feels alone until she explores a decaying labyrinth guarded by a mysterious faun who claims to know her destiny. If she wishes to return to her real father, Ofelia must complete three terrifying tasks.
|Original Title||:||El laberinto del fauno|
|Release Date||:||May 27, 2006|
|Genres||:||Fantasy, Drama, War|
|Production Company||:||Picturehouse Entertainment|
|Production Countries||:||Mexico, Spain, United States of America|
|Director||:||Guillermo del Toro, Carmen Soriano|
|Writers||:||Guillermo del Toro, Raúl Monge|
|Casts||:||Ivana Baquero, Maribel Verdú, Sergi López, Doug Jones, Ariadna Gil, Alex Angulo, Roger Casamajor, Manolo Solo, César Vea, Ivan Massagué, Gonzalo Uriarte, Eusebio Lázaro, Francisco Vidal, Juanjo Cucalón, Lina Mira, Mario Zorrilla, Sebastián Haro, Mila Espiga, Pepa Pedroche, Lalá Gatóo, Ana Sáez, Chani Martín, Milo Taboada, Fernando Albizu, Pedro G. Marzo, José Luis Torrijo, Íñigo Garcés, Fernando Tielve, Federico Luppi, Chicho Campillo, Pablo Adán|
|Plot Keywords||:||spain, servant, anti hero, fairy, fairy tale, army, princess, love, woods, king, hiding, labyrinth|
I went into this movie with no expectations, except that I'd see a Spanish-language, adult-oriented fantasy film with English subtitles. I think unmet expectations can hurt people in two ways: either the film disappoints them and they are overly critical as a result, or they are disappointed but too biased to admit it. I think the latter has led to an exceedingly generous rating for this particular film. Is it good? Yes. Is it the 65th best (according to current IMDb ratings) movie of all time? Not even close.
It is an interesting, original story. Virtually every actor appearing in the film is superb. The imagery is magnificent. Like I said, it is a good picture. However, I am puzzled as to why it is praised so highly. I would have a greater appreciation for the film if its adult-oriented nature was due to its substance, such as an intellectual, sophisticated and enigmatic storyline. It is adult-oriented, however, merely because of a few choice phrases and displays of graphic violence. This is not a film that is breaking new ground. It is too simplistic throughout, becomes fairly predictable, and lacks fluidity. The unimaginative way in which the fantasy elements come and go was a real put off. The 65th best movie of all time should have the fantastic elements blended seamlessly with the human elements. It should continue being original throughout. It should challenge the viewer in new and engaging ways. It should not merely curse, show some blood, and have pretty imagery.
Please, see this movie and enjoy it. I truly did. I also, however, allowed myself to make a realistic assessment afterward. I expect that the rating will come down as the novelty of an adult-oriented fantasy picture wears off. Maybe I missed something, but I doubt a specious film like this can conceal such intricacies.