Movie Review: Pan’s Labyrinth

This movie has been on my list for awhile, and I really wanted to watch it after I finished reading Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun. I don’t know when they did it but not long after reading the book I saw the movie on Netflix and I just got around to watching it.

I really enjoyed the movie. I don’t recall having seen any of Guillermo del Toro’s movies before but I knew I would like his style.

The movie and the book are nearly identical, though I would say I overall enjoyed the movie more than the book. There’s just something about seeing everything happen rather than reading about it that makes it such a different experience. The darkness of the Captain and the darkly magical aspects of the story are more visually obvious in the movie, but there’s also an enchanted feeling you get when reading the book that didn’t totally come across to me when watching the movie.

One of my favorite aspects of the book were the excerpts told in the style of a fairytale. I really liked this and, though we got some of it in the movie, I liked this form of storytelling and missed it in the movie. The one story in particular that I missed was that of the razor and the Captain. He was my favorite character in the book adaptation and I didn’t feel like he was as compelling in the movie.

The darkness of the story definitely translates in both movie and book. The violence seems more obvious in the movie because you can see the blood and the apathetic soldiers and it’s definitely enough to make your skin crawl. It was also really cool to see some of the more magical characters come to life, like the Faun and the Pale Man. The scene with the Pale Man definitely felt more high-stakes and dire in the movie than it did in the book.

I was definitely more drawn into the overall story in the movie than the book. As much as I liked the insight into the characters and the stories the book gave us, I felt more engaged in the story while watching the movie. I enjoyed both forms of the story but would be more inclined to rewatch the movie than reread the book.

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