I have had my fair share of criticisms on this blog, most of them legitimate considering how maladroit my writing was in the early stages, but from the ones which hold ground even now, the one which perturbs me the most is my inconsistency. And if I say it’s because I don’t get enough time to watch movies and write about them, I would be lying because for the past couple of months, I have went through hundreds of them. Yet when I try to garner my thoughts on the majority of them, I find myself at a loss of words. I find myself in the same state John Green aptly described ‘My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations’. After much deliberation, I have come to the conclusion that I can only write about a movie when I either love it or hate it. No middle ground.
And here’s a diabolic gem from Guillermo Del Toro which reminds me why I picked up a pen consciously in the first place. I remember it was to write a short story about me saving Hermione Granger, my first literary and on-screen crush, from Death Eaters and in the end, getting to first base with her in the Room Of Requirement. As I look back upon it now, I find it to be an abhorrent work of both fantasy and erotica. But in it, I see something that was truly me at that time, a work which is truly original even though all its characters were not.
I believe that is why Pan’s Labyrinth is a masterpiece of its own league. After watching it, those same emotions which formed ranks and hurled themselves against the ramparts of my inhibitions a long time ago seemed to resurface with the same vigor. Its tale follows the soul of the princess of a distant past making her body of the present come in terms with her destiny in the midst of a macabre no child should hold witness to.
Unlike other fairy tales which shield even their evils in a graceful manner so as to not tarnish the minds of the young, Pan’s Labyrinth is as vile and violent and twisted as one can possibly imagine. The tales of the three tasks the protagonist Ofella has to undertake run in parallel with conflicts between Falangist soldiers and republican rebels, gradually morphing into one.
Del Toro excellently gives equal gravitas to both these tales, in a way in which we are invested in both and never out of touch in any. The creatures which inhabit the abhorrent worlds Del Toro crafts reek of creative genius, characters which are so familiar in their actions but so distinctive in their appearances that this movie turns out to be one of those rare works where one could happily watch with the sound turned off, just for the joy of how it looks.
I envy those who will watch this movie for the first time. And even more if they have just happened to hit the brink of puberty. The boundless imagination this movie will set free within them is the true magic which exists in this world. One which we all can hopefully find and believe in if we care to look for it a bit closely.
Always remember dear reader, no one ever grows old enough for fairy tales. In all my wisdom, I can say with unwavering confidence, that they seemingly grow old enough for their readers to love and learn.
RATING :- 9.5 / 10
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