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Jalen Jett

Williamsburg Preparatory High School, Junior

REVIEW | Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) directed by Guillermo del Toro

Filmmaking tools can determine the success or failure of a movie. They play a vital role in creating a storyline. The majority of successful filmmakers that used these tools have created memorable films that will be seen for years to come. Guillermo Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth is a perfect example of this type of film. Pan’s Labyrinth’s most successful moments come from clever plot twists that reconfirm the moral the movie is trying to convey. An example of this can be seen towards the end of the movie when the Faun tries to convince the film’s protagonist, Ofelia (Ivana Baquero), to harm her baby brother in order to pass a final test that will determine her fate. Ofelia’s decision emphasizes the lesson of being true to yourself.

Del Toro also gives us many examples of contrast. One can be seen when Captain Vidal (Sergi López) has dinner with his subordinates. Through this scene, you can see the comparison between the evil Captain Vidal and the hideous Pale Man. They’re both seen as monsters because of their immoral ways and dark characteristics. Thus, Del Toro’s use of contrast gives the audience imagery of how both the Captain and the Pale Man are evil.

The mixture of fantasy and reality is what made this film unique. Viewers expecting to be taken away to a world that’s completely the opposite of their own are kept confined to the “reality” of the film. The mixture of fantasy and reality also baffles audiences. It’s difficult to tell whether or not the events are taking place in Ofelia’s head. The possibility that the entire film’s plot was nothing more than Ofelia’s imagination is debatable.

Pan’s Labyrinth, Ivanna Baquero