DVD of the Week – Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
by RISHI AGRAWAL
When I originally reviewed Pan’s Labyrinth, I said that the fantasy elements were much stronger than the “reality” elements. The film is essentially a fairy tale set against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War, but I felt that the backdrop dominated the story a little too much. I stick by my statement. However, I wanted to clarify something. The fantasy elements of Pan’s Labyrinth are some of the most original and evocative sequences I have ever seen. The “reality” storylines are also amazing, with rich characters and stunning scenery. It almost feels unfair to make a comparison, as everything in the film is integrated into a cohesive narrative.
Perhaps I was a bit taken aback by the poor marketing of Pan’s Labyrinth, which Helen posted about. And it seems strange to act defensive about a film that I really did love, which placed on my Top Ten list for 2006. But I still feel that I did not love the film as much as I should have. If you are in the same boat as me, and felt betrayed by a film that wasn’t what you expected, I would encourage you to watch the film again on DVD and try to look at it with a fresh perspective. I think you’ll find much to admire.
The DVD comes in two versions: the one-disc version and the two-disc version. Both versions include a video prologue by director Guillermo del Toro as well as a commentary track by del Toro. The two-disc version includes featurettes on The Power of Myth, The Faun and the Fairies and The Lullaby. There’s also, on the two-disc version, DVD comics, storyboards, and a director’s notebook. If you’re looking for a purchase, the two-disc version is only a few dollars more, and it seems like a no-brainer.
Other new releases this week: Arthur and the Invisibles, The Fountain, The Last Sin Eater, Seraphim Falls, Stomp the Yard, The War Tapes