First of all, go see this film. Don’t be put off by the fact that it’s a fairy-tale story, or a war movie, or a foreign-language film, because above all else it is a magnificent work of art. that’s going on my list of cinematic Voigt-Kampff tests (i.e., if you can watch this without laughing/crying/getting scared [delete as necessary], you fail at being human).
Some of you may be avoiding Pan’s Labyrinth
because you’ve heard that it has an unhappy ending. I can sympathize — to this day I haven’t seen The Grave of the Fireflies
, even though I’m told it’s a beautiful film. However, I would argue that the climax is both sad and triumphant, and after reading this excellent (and spoilery) interview
with director Guillermo Del Toro I found the balance shifting to the latter.
I was surprised that I haven’t found any reviews of or articles about Pan’s Labyrinth
that used this G. K. Chesteron quotation: “Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed,” but then it occured to me that Del Toro might not want that statement attached to his story, based on some of his comments in the interview linked above.
You know what? If I write more about this movie I’m going to put it under a cut-tag, so as not to spoil it. Until then, keep fighting the good fight. (And seriously, go see the film.)