Clear: Back to the homepage. Site: Extras, etc. Fanlisting: Get yourself listed. Pan's Labyrinth: Information about the movie.

Pan's Labyrinth

The movie opens with a fairy tale. A young girl named Ofelia (Ivana Baquero), lies on the ground bleeding, while the narration explains that long ago, Princess Moanna of the Underground Realm, curious about the world above, escaped to the Earth, where the sun blinded her and, forgetting her past, she weakened and died. Nonetheless, her father retains hope that her spirit will eventually return to him.

The story then cuts to post-Civil War Spain in 1944, with Francisco Franco firmly in power. Ofelia, a great lover of books and fairy tales, is traveling with her pregnant mother, Carmen (Ariadna Gil), to join Captain Vidal (Sergi López i Ayats), her new stepfather and father of Carmen's unborn child, at his post in the mountains where he is rooting out Spanish Maquis guerrillas.

Ofelia discovers a stick insect that she believes to be a fairy, which follows her to the mill where Vidal is stationed. She chases it into an ancient Labyrinth nearby, where she meets Vidal's housekeeper, Mercedes (Maribel Verdú), who treats her kindly but takes her home.

Captain Vidal is shown to be cruel, tyrannical, and bloodthirsty as he brutally executes two farmers after beating one nearly to death with a bottle for supposedly aiding the rebel cause. After they are killed, he discovers they were innocent. He blames his men, telling them "Maybe you'll learn to search these assholes properly before you come bothering me."

Later that night, Ofelia overhears Mercedes and the local doctor conspiring to help the rebels. After waking her in the middle of the night, the insect appears in Ofelia's bedroom where it changes into a fairy and leads her outside and through the Labyrinth. There, she meets a Faun (Doug Jones), who says that he believes her to be the reincarnation of Princess Moanna. He gives her three tasks to complete before the full moon to ensure that her "essence] is intact" so that she can return to her father's realm.

Meanwhile, Captain Vidal is having some associates over for dinner. Carmen presents Ofelia with a beautiful new dress and shoes, which she is expected to wear to the meal. However, soon before the dinner, Ofelia receives her first task from the Book of Crossroads. She heads into the woods to find a certain fig tree, which is being eaten from the inside by a monstrous toad that lives deep beneath its roots. Inside the toad is a key, which Ofelia must retrieve. After crawling through the muddy tunnels under the tree, she encounters the huge toad. She tricks it into eating magic stones that the faun gave her, which causes the toad to vomit out its insides, including the key.

During dinner, Captain Vidal dismisses any conversation unrelated to the war. A guest remarks on how Vidal's late father, also a prominent military figure, had smashed his watch at the moment of his death on the battlefield so that his son would know the exact time he died. Captain Vidal claims that his father never owned a watch, though it is shown that he has a similar frame of mind. He is often shown impatiently checking his own watch, or cleaning it in his study.

Ofelia returns to the house, late for dinner and with her new dress ruined. Her mother sends her to bed without supper, but Ofelia is nevertheless happy that she completed the first task.

Soon after, Carmen has an episode of severe bleeding, and is prescribed bed rest until she delivers. As her condition becomes more fragile, Captain Vidal tells the doctor "If you have to make a choice, save the baby." Vidal is positive that the child will be a son, and cares only about producing an heir for himself. Ofelia is moved to another bedroom.

The faun tells Ofelia of a way to restore her mother to health: placing a mandrake root in a bowl of fresh milk underneath her bed, and feeding it two drops of blood a day. After carrying out the faun's prescription, Ofelia then undertakes the second task of using the key to retrieve an ornate dagger from the lair of the Pale Man (also played by Jones), a grotesque, child-eating monster who sits absolutely silent and motionless in front of a large feast. Although she was gravely warned not to consume anything, she eats two grapes, awakening the Pale Man, who eats two of her fairy friends and pursues her. She narrowly escapes by drawing an escape door with a piece of magic chalk. However, infuriated at her disobedience, the faun refuses to give her the third task.

Events upon Earth take an even grimmer turn as Vidal captures and brutally interrogates a rebel. The doctor, who had been staying with them to help Carmen, is ordered to tend the wounds of the tortured rebel, so that he can be interrogated further. Instead, at the rebel's request, the doctor euthanizes him. Vidal, in turn, kills the doctor for his disobedience and treachery — the doctor had been aiding the rebels and providing them with medicine. Vidal then catches Ofelia feeding the mandrake under her mother's bed. He aggressively questions her, but Carmen begs him to let her speak to Ofelia herself. Carmen tells her daughter that fairy tales are not real, and to prove her point she burns the mandrake. As the root is destroyed, Carmen goes into labor and dies in childbirth. However, she delivers a healthy son. Ofelia is devastated, and now has no protection from her stepfather's tyranny.

Vidal discovers that Mercedes is a spy. She attempts to escape with Ofelia, but is caught. Ofelia is locked in her bedroom, and Mercedes is taken to be tortured; however, she frees herself using a hidden knife with which she stabs and gives Vidal a Glasgow smile on one side of his face. He survives, and has his men follow her as she runs for her life. They catch up with her in the forest, but as they surround her, unseen snipers shoot the men off their horses. The snipers turn out to be rebels, among them Mercedes' brother, who rescued her in exchange for helping them survive.

The faun returns to Ofelia and gives her one more chance to prove herself. He tells her to take her baby half-brother into the Labyrinth. Vidal comes into her room, but finds that she has escaped; on the wall, there is a chalk outline of a door. She drugs Vidal's liquor and grabs her brother from his cradle, but Vidal sees her before she can escape. She runs outside with the baby, chased by Vidal, who is feeling the effects of the drug. Ofelia enters the labyrinth as the rebels attack the mill. Mercedes, who now cares for Ofelia like a daughter, frantically searches for her. Upon reaching the centre of the maze, Ofelia encounters the faun, who wields the ornate dagger that Ofelia had taken from the Pale Man's lair. The faun explains that the portal to the Underworld will open only with the blood of an innocent, so she must hand him her brother. Despite his insisting that it will be "just a pinprick," Ofelia refuses. The faun vociferously berates Ofelia for her disobedience, asking her if she was willing to give up her chance of being an immortal Princess to protect a child she barely knows. Ofelia nods solemnly. The faun replies, "As you wish", then disappears. Vidal has stumbled upon the scene, and witnessed Ofelia having a conversation with thin air. Vidal approaches, forcibly takes the baby, and shoots Ofelia in the stomach. She falls to the ground, bleeding.

When Vidal leaves the Labyrinth, he is met by Mercedes and the rebels. Realizing that they will kill him, he calmly hands Mercedes the baby, and starts to request that they tell his son the exact time his father died, just as his own father did. But Mercedes informs him that his son "will never even know his name". Mercedes' rebel brother shoots Vidal in the face, killing him.

Mercedes and the rebels enter the labyrinth to find Ofelia dying, in a reprise of the opening scene. While Ofelia's blood drips onto the altar that was the gateway into the Underground Realm, the scene flashes to an alternate state: Ofelia is reunited with the King (Federico Luppi) (her deceased father, resurrected) and Queen (her mother, alive again) of the Underground Realm. The faun is there, as are the fairies. Ofelia learns that by sacrificing herself, instead of her brother, she has succeeded at the true final task, proving herself to be the Princess Moanna and achieving immortality. The moment Ofelia learns she is the Princess of the Underground Realm, she smiles; at that same instant, upon Earth, she dies. A distraught Mercedes weeps over the girl. The narrator explains that Princess Moanna went on to rule the Underground Realm with kindness and justice for many centuries, and that she left small traces of her time on Earth that would only be visible to those who knew where to look. The movie ends hopefully, with the old fig tree in bloom again.

- More at Wikipedia

Other links

Hace mucho, mucho tiempo is a part of Iridescently. Site layout and content belongs to Michi unless otherwise stated. This website is non-profit and is not official. It is merely a fan-made project. No copyright infringement is intended.