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← Pan's Labyrinth: Disobedient Fairy Tale

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Showing Revision 1 created 10/11/2015 by Andrey Udovychenko.

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    i think its okay to start my analysis
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    of guilermo del toros Pan labyrinth
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    with a spoiler
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    ophelia - the main character...
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    she dies at the end
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    i feel fine doing that
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    because del toro does the exact same thing with his movie
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    the first shot of pan`s labyrynth
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    is the ending
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    and it`s also the first way in which Del toro
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    complicates that ending
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    but before we get into that
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    a few things about fairy-tales
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    for most of us the authoritative source
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    for fairy-tales is walt disney
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    and that`s no accident
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    disney set out to claim that authority
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    when he made films like snow white, cinderella
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    or sleeping beauty
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    by adapting folk tales in the public domain
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    and copywriting the adaptations
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    still, because film was a relatively new media
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    capturing tha authority he wanted required Disney
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    to remain faithful to the original versions
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    of these stories popularized by charles piero
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    and brothers grimm
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    he made the transition from print to cinema
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    as smooth as possible for the audience
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    even going so far as to begin his movies with
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    the oppenning of a book
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    Disney was smart
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    his films are now regarded as classics
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    and yet, by remaining so faithful to the stories
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    19-centure antecedents
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    he inherited and furthered their 19th century
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    a conservative, patriarchal value system
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    in which the prince always comes to save
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    the helpless heroine
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    a value system that was antiquated even then
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    in this way, disney limited the kinds of things
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    a fairy-tale can do
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    in Pan`s labyrinth guilermo del toro attempts
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    to explode these limitations and he does so
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    by recontextualising the stories
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    instead of pulling from a single authoritative source
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    del toro pulls from a huge number of sources
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    giving non-precedence over the others
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    and letting them all play against one another
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    to create meaning
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    the film tells the story of the little girl
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    offelia and her mother Carmen
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    as they go to live a hyper-fashist captain Vidall
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    five years after the spanish civil war
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    vidall is trying to snugg out the last remnants
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    of rebellion in the mountains awaiting his childs birth
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    by carmen
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    while Ophelia becomes ensnared in a magical quest
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    after a faun tells her she is the lost princess
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    of an underground realm
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    from here the story spins out into two paralles narratives
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    the magical quest and the political drama
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    crucially, neither of these narratives becomes reducable
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    to the other
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    del toro makes a point of this
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    by entwaining them in ways, that makes
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    any totalizing explanation problematic
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    at the end of the film for exampe we get what seems to be
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    a nail in the coffin for the magical quest
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    vidall approachers ophelia speaking with the faun
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    and when the camera cuts to his point of view
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    the faun is not there
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    it appears to be solid evidence for those who read
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    ophelias quest as a coping mechanism for her sad life
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    but, if we back up, we can see how del toro
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    complicates that reading by remembering
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    that vidall has just been drugged with a heavy dose of sleeping medication
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    in other stories, drug induced gallucinations
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    are used to explain a way why people see supernatural
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    but in pans labyrinth it`s the opposite
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    del toro uses the device to destabilize our trust
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    in captain vidalls point of view