Spain, 1944. The dreamy Ofelia, a 10-year-old obsessed with fairy tales, moves with her pregnant mother to join her stepfather, a cruel Fascist officer who’s stationed in the mountains. Fantasy and reality blur, and Ofelia is soon drawn into a fairy tale of her own…
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A strange and brilliant mix of war violence and child fantasy. As if childhood is the last resource in atrocious times, the last hope of inocence and redemption. A beautiful creation visually, and a solid plot that makes us go back to the Spanish Civil war and to old pagan myths. We are our imagination too. We can create ourselves, as much as destroy each other. Let us choose creativity. Like children do.
Great meld of genres from the pen of guillermo del toro. Del Toro's best film to date is this imaginative hybrid of the spanish civil war film and gothic horror/fairy tale. A memorable tale highlighted by a strong script, original creature design and fine performances by young Ivana Baquero, Maribel Verdu and especially Sergei Lopez in the role of one of the screen's great villains. Winner of 3 academy awards.
Interesting movie as long as it centers on the Captain and his housekeeper, played by the great Sergi Lopez and Maribel Verdu. Unfortunately, there's all this crap about some little girl and her fantasy life, and it just bogs the film down in a lot of bogus faux-Gilliamisms. Basically, this is an easy little movie for people who can't take the real Gilliam article.
In most fantasy films of this kind, the bizarre creatures and surreal events are witnessed with wonder and awe by the protagonist, who acts as our anchor in the spectacular world. Here, the creatures and magical surroundings do the observing, and the subject of their gaze is the cruelty and barbarism of man. Remains a majestic, haunting masterpiece.
Just bought the blu-ray today and in revisiting this, it has become more apparent to me than ever that this is Del Toro's masterpiece. This is a true feat of cinema that will remain relevant for many years to come. ¡Bravo Guillermo!