I was totally blown away with this Spanish fantasy! However, I would like to stress that this isn't suitable for the young children because of some swearings and the graphic violence.

The story is set in the 1940s where the Spanish Civil War takes place. Ofelia, a young girl together with her pregnant mother moves into Captain Vidal's shabby house, who is a military officer fighting with the guerillas.

Feeling unloved by her new stepfather and lonely at the new environment, she likes to dream of fantastical creatures and creates their tales. One day, she frees a magical insect unknowingly, and this tiny fairy follows her home. Later in the night it leads her to a labyrinth where she meets a faun which informs her she is actually a reborn princess from the underworld but she needs to accomplish various tasks to return to the world where she belongs.

While she competes with the hideous giant toad for the keys and get pass the horrific Pale Man for the dagger, she is also worried for her mother who is having a difficult pregnancy but they are glad to have Mercedes, their housekeeper who helps them although she is secretly spying for the guerillas.

The movie switches between the conflict of war and Ofelia's fantastical adventures until it reaches the climax when she tries to escape with her newborn brother and is held at gunpoint by her stepfather and it is at this same time that the faun instructs her to shed his brother's blood to seal the task.

I find there is something similiar between Mercedes and Ofelia as both are willing to sacrifice for the price of freedom. And although some might scoff at having to read the subtitles, it doesn't really bother me at all and I really enjoyed watching this imaginative dark tale and the great performance played by the actors, especially the roles of the evil Captain Vidal, Mercedes and not to mention the young Ofelia.
4 Responses
  1. Julia Says:

    Interesting review, maybe I check this out. Great review by the way! :)

  2. Melody Says:

    Thanks, Julia! Let me know once you have the chance to watch this. :)

  3. It's really an amazing movie. I thought it was fantastic. So tragic and yet hopeful too. Terrific review, Melody. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

  4. Melody Says:

    Thanks Wendy! I'm glad we picked this up; it was a pity that we couldn't watch it with our daughter though.

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