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Pan's Labyrinth: a Critical Analysis - Research Paper Example

Light & Color Arguably the most important stylistic aspect of Pan’s Labyrinth is the lighting, which is subtly different depending on the associated character and setting. Ofelia’s step-father, the tyrannical Captain Vidal, is a wholly negative and powerful character. The lighting, in blue and grey hues, adds to the general feel that Captain Vidal’s world is not pleasant for him or the others who inhabit it. The greys contribute a cold feeling to Vidal’s scenes, which encapsulates the attitude of Vidal to others and his environment. This gloomy lighting is found in many other scenes of the ‘real world’, and can be contrasted to the orange and yellow warmth of the fantasy world (Smith, 2007). The kingdom at the climax of the film, where Ofelia visits upon death, is also an extremely golden world contrasted to bloody scenes just seconds previously bathed in blue grey light. This gives a homeliness to the kingdom which is heavily contrasted to reality, and suggests that Ofelia may have found her true home in the kingdom. The lighting choices are evident from the very beginning of the film. It opens with a very dark scene, although Ofelia herself is illuminated in bright light, which helps identify her as the main protagonist. It also helps the audience to identify her as being good, with an element of purity, which is quite otherworldly when compared with the dark illumination of Franco’s Spain and Captain Vidal. Throughout the film, Ofelia continues to have this pure lighting, which continues the theme of her purity and her association with the good. It also helps to liken her more to her fantasy world and seem out-of-place in many of the scenes rooted in reality. Lighting also ties into the use of color heavily, which in this film are used to distinguish between positive fantasy and negative reality, although these are not necessarily clear-cut. Many of the fantastical myth-based scenes have a very dark, black quality to them, whilst Ofelia’s time with Mercedes and her mother is generally more colorful and light than other ‘reality scenes’. This helps partly to blur the distinction between fantasy and reality, which is perhaps part of what helps to make the film so haunting. It also helps to create a kind of maternal feel that is shared by both Mercedes and Ofelia’s mother, an interesting touch that vaguely associates warmth with femininity. Another notable use of color is its absence. Whilst Pan’s Labyrinth is partly a myth, a fairytale, it does not have the candy-colored brightness that we would typically associate, but the darkness of a Grimm Brother’s tale (Murray, 2011). This is a clever use of color by del Toro because it gives the entire picture a depth which is perhaps not found in other modern fairytales. The absence of color and the predominantly dark lighting also mean that those scenes in which del Toro has used color and warm lighting, such as the banquet scene, play very vividly in the viewer’s mind. Sound & Language The language and the style of speaking is also very important in creating a film. Again, there is a huge difference between Captain Vidal and the characters of the fantasy world. ...Show more
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Summary

PAN’S LABYRINTH: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS Name Department/School Course Name/Number 30th May 2012 PAN’S LABYRINTH: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS Pan’s Labyrinth, or El laberinto del fauno, is a 2006 film written and directed by Guillermo del Toro. Set in post-Civil War Spain, the film interweaves the difficult struggles in Francisco Franco’s Spain and the dark fantasy world of Ofelia, which centers around the overgrown labyrinth of the title (Smith, 2007)…
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