September 14th, 2007


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.

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