Having heard a lot about how good this movie is supposed to be, I had fairly high expectations of it. So was I disappointed? No. The movie was a delight to watch in that it was both visually stunning and very well written, relating a gothic fairytale very much in the Brothers Grimm vein. The fantasy scenes depicting the labyrinth and creatures of the “underground realm” were very well imagined and suitably grotesque. Whilst those depicting the real world of post civil-war Spain although bleakly painted were fitting to the movie’s tone, which is very dark and on occasion very violent. The main characters are very well-developed through dialogue and their actions and I found a great deal of empathy for each of them to the point that I felt for them all, both good and bad, when the story reached its tragic conclusion.
Needless to say that conclusion is composed in such away as to make you wonder which of the interwined strands, reality and fantasy, is which. This enhanced the emotional impact and left me with food for thought over the last few days.
I wholeheartedly recommend this movie to anyone who hasn’t seen it yet.
It will also be very interesting to see what Del Toro does with The Hobbit and it’s sequel.