Bier de Stone ( wrote,
Bier de Stone

Pan's labyrinth

A writer's perspective (Beware of SPOILERS)

Fifteen minutes into the story of Pan's labyrinth, Ofelia tells a story to her unborn brother in a dream sequence. The story is justified by the many books she reads and carries with her everywhere. Books of fairy tales. Also justified is her fascination with bugs which she envisions to be fairies. Some of the praying mantis "fairies" morph into a Tinkerbell likeness, at which point, all of the bugs affiliated with Ofelia impose that image. However, in act two when she is outcast from the labyrinth for compromising the lives of several Tinkerbell fairies, it seems that the image of them transforms back into bugs as act three brings them to her again in the form of praying mantises.

After a long day, the captain is taken away from his relaxing hobby of repairing pocket watches. He is needed for the interrogation of two farmers caught in the woods suspected of being resistance guerrillas. The captain kills both of them, a boy and his father, before discovering that their tale of hunting rabbits may indeed be true. He discovers in their satchel some documents and dead rabbits. This abrupt and violent scene reveals the seriousness of the time frame as that of war torn Spain, during Franco's reign.

We return back to Ofelia after the bloodshed of the farmers. It is soon after she ended her story to her mother's swollen stomach, womb to her little brother. Notice that most of Ofelia's dialog seems to be very secluded to dark, low light scenes, and/or off camera colloquy. She is a beautiful young girl of eight or nine. She has full, tender lips (which is totally opposite of my high school sweetheart, but that's another story).

This beauty is confirmed by the faun, who seems to be her prince, turned into an awful monster by a wicked spell because he seems shy and enamored toward her. The way he refers to her as his highness reminds me of the song Emerald eyes by GRAVE DIGGER. That's the song that makes me feel inspired if and when my path will ever cross Ana's again. That, and the book The mysterious flame of Queen Loanna by Umberto Eco, which I always interpreted as The mysterious flame of queen. Hello Ana because I read that book shortly after July 13, 2005. (But that's the same story I mentioned earlier for another time). If indeed the faun is her prince, as the beast was beauty's king in Beauty and the beast, Princess Moanna, as it has come to know her, grows fond of it [faun] too.

Amazingly enough, the ticking clock, between the killing of the farmers and Ofelia's venture into the labyrinth at night, doesn't reveal any evidence that either party is aware of each other's deeds. 30 minutes into the film and the only noticeable close up of Ofelia, against good lighting, is her reflection against a mirror saying "a princess" as she checks her shoulder for the birthmark the faun clued her into as being proof she is who he believes her to be, Princess Moanna, an immortal princess of the underworld.

43 minutes into the film, idle chat during a dinner party which the captain is holding, reveals that the captain's father was well known by one of his guests. Proclaiming him to be just the brave soldier the captain describes him to his guest, a legend that the brave soldier had broken his "pocket watch" against a rock at his death so that his son would know the exact hour in which he died goes disputed by the captain who proclaims that his father never had a watch. It seems pertinent to the story because of the intense focus in cleaning each mechanism sof the pocket watch that the captain was so obsessed with before the interruption that lead to the execution of the farmers. A cowardly murder.

This film does spark an interest in me over the alchemic properties of the Mandrake root. This enigma is what takes the innocent beginning to darker moods. Again, a clever way to remind us that Ofelia is the reincarnation of a lost daughter who's father, ruler of the dark world, has awaited her return throughout the ages. The story of Princess Moana is touching in that her memory is lost (maybe from listening to headbanger's rock on Saturdays) when she sneaks away from her underground home to explore the bright, shiny world of springtime and flowers. Ironic that that being something she yearned to see for so long would erase her memory as to who she is and inevitably sicken her to death. But her father, who believed that she would return one day, perhaps in a different vessel like Ofelia's body, brings a sense of hopefulness to the plot as we're impelled to uncover more secrets that will bring Ofelia to her realization. Inconsequentially, death.

I could not help but recall the melody of my youth whenever I heard Mercedes humming that all too familiar lullaby. That tune emulates a lullaby my own mother use to sing to me. With now real words, it went something like this: "me-me-me-me mee-meeee", a baby talk dialect for the word dormir, spanish for sleep.

Tags: movies

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