El Laberinto del fauno (2006)

“El laberinto del fauno” (2006)


Good and Evil

This was an ambitious project. The director was really aiming at producing something remarkable. And it does have beautiful moments, filled with intensity and visual poetry, something which warms a viewer but it is not immediately synonym to good cinema. Direct to it, i didn’t really like this film, despite the overwhelming good reviews and sympathy of the audience. The narrative structure is clear and simple: we have a story that goes on in a “real” historical time, and we have another line which is “magical” and runs (maybe) in the head and vision of a little girl. The first thread should represent the cruelness and violence of the real world, right in the middle of a brutal war context; the second thread is the escape for those who are able to “see” magic, here impersonated by our little girl. She reads books, lots of them, story books, and those stories leak into the world she creates, representing this in fact the leaking del Toro intentionally wanted to make, crossing his own references and creating a magical world which is in fact a mist of several “children” stories. Well, the problem is here, to my view. Fernando Pessoa stated the paradox that a children’s story should never be written for children. He meant that it should give juice to the minds of adult thinking as well. So, good children stories always include paradoxes, ambiguities and difficult decisions, remember Alice, remember Andersen, remember the Grimm, remember Sophia Mello Breyner… A good children’s story, magical or not, is most of the times a synthesis of complex principles that exist in a grey world, beyond black and white. Well, here everything is black or white. You know, from beginning to the end what is good and what is bad, even the “flaw” of our little girl comes from disobeying, not through temptation. And this is a poor vision, to me, one that doesn’t live up to the way all this was executed. Because there are very very strong moments here. The fantasy characters are really engaging, the Fauno is really engaging, the way its evolution is made as the film moves along, the character with eyes in his hands is a fantastic character, all that scene is brilliantly executed. And some references are really tender. The performances are good as well. But something just doesn’t go well here, and that is what i mentioned. It’s as if the winner of the war in the film was the captain, and who made this film thinks one sided, good-bad, by extremes, the way he would have taught his children… spooky.

My opinion: 2/5 this will be a good visual experience, if you can forget the weaknesses i pointed out. i couldn’t

This comment on IMDb


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