Saturday, January 27, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth

I've been chewing at this one for a couple weeks, too. It seems to be up for awards now, and lots of them.

The craftsmanship of this movie is excellent. I don't think I've seen a more mature use of computer graphics. Everything fits seamlessly into the film. There probably is a lot of CG in this, but you know it because you can't do that sort of thing with makeup alone, not because it stands out.

I went into it warned that this is a violent movie. Indeed, it is so. Not in an overall way, most of the time is not spent on violence. However, much of the violence is intense. This, too, is well crafted. The most gruesome bits that some folks have reveled in showing onscreen where images tend to just seem over the top is left just offscreen where the imagination can supply a full 3D rendering that is about as nasty as it can get without ever being over the top. The thing is, I have mixed feelings about well crafted violence.

But that is just background scenery, and a lot of it. The heart of the movie is the girl's imagination. Or perhaps it really is a fantasy and the heart is the challenges she must face. I quite liked the first. It is probably a variation of a tale told many times, but it was new to me. The second certainly has elements of old tales and was highly unsatisfying to me (see below). The less said about the third, the better.

Spoilers below.

spoilers be here

I'll let the first challenge, a tale of using greed against the greedy, stand on its own.

The second though... she failed. I'm sorry, she did. The movie ended there, too bad, so sad, she never got out. And then she cheated and the rules, or whatever, allowed her to. The consequence of eating the food from a realm you don't belong in is to never be able to leave. She seemed well read enough to know that, too. And even with that, they trapped her another way but all she has to do is draw another door to get out? What was the point of the timer.

I'll leave the third challenge alone as well, but for different reasons. I just don't want to talk about it.

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