Directed and Written by: Guillermo del Toro
Genre: Sci-Fi and Fantasy, Drama
Runtime: 120 Minutes
Many friends recommended this to me and I am glad I watched it. This film is wonderfully imaginative and vividly designed and it is one of the best fantasy films out there. From Mexican director Guillermo del Toro (who also wrote the story) the film is full of great fantasy as well as the gloom reality. The beauty of their clash is what makes this film so good. The acting was amazing from the whole cast and added to the atmosphere of the reality. With some wonderful special effects, harsh reality and a story that will likely intrigue you, this is great entertainment.
Set in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War and detailing the strange journeys of an imaginative young girl who may be the mythical princess of an underground kingdom. Her mother, Carmen (Ariadna Gil), recently remarried to sadistic army captain Vidal (Sergi Lpez) and soon to bear the cruel military man's child, shy young Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) is forced to entertain herself as her recently formed family settles into their new home-nestled deep in the Spanish countryside. From this point onwards, the story dives into the blend between fantasy and reality.
Some people dislike this film because it feels depressing. Well it does have that edgy feeling, but that is what is great about the film. After all, you do not hate a film just because the content is ‘depressing’. It is what makes films great, making you feel emotions. The story is very dark and it has the contrast between the reality and fantasy that gives this film the adult quality. Like the Rotten Tomatoes consensus says it is like Alice in Wonderland for adults. It is one of the best fantasy films out their surely.
The acting from the young who plays Ofelia was terrific. Child actors tend to be a difficult thing to work with, but Ivana Baquero as Ofelia was an actress who put with fantastic emotion in to her character. The adults of course also did a splendid job. Playing Ofelia mother is Ariadna Gil who was equally as great as Baquero. Sergi Lopez whose presence towards the middle and end of the film has you hissing at him excellently portrayed the captain.
I am new to the director Guillermo del Toro so after seeing his excellent work here I will be sure to see more of his films. This proves that subtitles and international films affect nothing of the entertaining quality. The editing was great, the direction was slick and the pieces of CGI were nicely done. One thing I will always remember this film for is paleface. Anyone who has seen this will be disturbed a little by this creature. The creature inserts eyes into its hands to see and seems to have inside out skin or something. However to describe his strange bodily structure, it is quite a weird experience seeing him chasing Ofelia.
This is certainly one of the darkest fantasy films around and it is not rated “R” for nothing. There is some bloodshed and of course, adult themes which all sum up to this film being vividly imaginative and wonderful. I highly recommend this to adults and anyone who wants to explore cinema because it offers a lot of fresh and exhilarating entertainment. The film is simply a must-see for film lovers and critics alike.