Anne’s Labyrinth

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If you want to add some atmosphere while reading this entry may I suggest that you listen to the music from the film by opening another web browser and listening here.

Before it won all the awards I decided I wanted to go and see Pan’s Labyrinth but in my usual “all talk and no do” way I missed it when it was on very briefly at our local cinema. My sister, the Anne in the title of this blog entry is much more of a doer and of course found somewhere with about six seats that was showing the film although she had missed the initial showing. She raved about it so much that when I knew she was bringing her tribe to stay over the Bank Holiday weekend I decided to buy the DVD and watch it with her.

The film is set just after the Spanish Civil War and cleverly intertwines real life with fantasy. I always have difficulty trying to introduce someone to a film without giving away the plot so I will do my usual thing of not saying anything. A friend of mine once said that she would rather watch paint dry than watch a film that I recommended. She complained that I don’t care about plot as long as the film looks good. This film certainly does look good, in a grim way. It is almost monochrome in colouring. All the joy of life has been sucked away and everything is pervaded with grey. We see events through the eyes of a young girl. Her father is dead, her mother has remarried and is now heavily pregnant by her new husband, a captain in the army.

Ofelia is a girl who loves books, especially fairy tales and it is into these that she escapes to deal with her unhappiness at her new situation. You may have as much trouble as Ofelia in distinguishing between the two worlds.

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