Thursday, May 31, 2007

Psuedo Review: Pan's Labyrinth

Well, the wife rented Pan's Labyrinth for me on Tuesday and I sat down to watch it last night.

Now, I'm not normally a squeamish guy. I mean I've cleaned my share of animals. Twice now, I've watched parts of a c-section. I've been sliced a few times (due to my own stupidity) and in a fight once or twice in my much younger days.

Yet, the violence in this movie made me stop watching it.

I got through nearly seventy of the film's 120 minutes before I stumbled across the torture scene which caused me to quit watching. I'm not certain why I struggled with this, as I watched worse blood and gore filled scenes while I was younger, but I found myself cringing at some of the things happening here.

By the same extension, I can't watch ER due to the medical procedures, but happily watch CSI when they show that close up view of a dead body, so who knows.

Anyways, the fairy tale aspects of this movie were quite wonderful. These are the fairy tales that I grew up hearing - not the Disney/PC fairy tales which have become so prevalent in the past twenty years or so.

These are dark stories, where things die and bad things can happen to the main character. Which I did like.

Likewise, upon making the decision that I wasn't going to watch the remainder of the film, I wandered over to and found out what happened, and I have to say that I liked the ending as described there as well.

Ultimately, I wanted to like this movie. It had all the elements of a fantasy story that I like. Fantastical settings intertwined with the real world. Dark, vibrant characters. And even hope.

Yet the gore of the film was a turn off.

Frankly, a lot of the scenes would have worked just as well, if not better, if they hadn't been so explicit in their violence and blood. For example, in one scene a soldier is getting an amputation. We the viewer did NOT need to see the saw cutting into his flesh, a close up on the soldier's face twisted away in pain would have worked perfectly fine for that scene.

I'm not going to do the usual grading thing here, as I didn't finish the movie, but this review was something I was promising, so I felt the need to provide my thoughts on it.


Thrawn said...

I think it works well as a contrast between the innocence of Ophelia and the world that she lives in.

Stephen Wrighton said...

Oh, I concur it works great as a contrast. That said, it would still work for that *IF* they had implied the gore.

You can have violence without gore after all.

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