“A Long, Long Time Ago…”

From my review of Guillermo del Toro’s dark fairy tale, Pan’s Labyrinth:

“You’re too old to be filling your head with such nonsense,” Carmen tells her daughter, Ofelia, in an early scene in Pan’s Labyrinth. “Such nonsense” is a book of fairy tales, cradled lovingly in Ofelia’s hands.

But are fairy tales nonsense? Should they be read only by the very young? Or can grown-ups learn from them, too?

For Guillermo de Toro, the answers are clearly No, No, and Yes, respectively. Pan’s Labyrinth is an R-rated tale full of fauns, faeries, and other fantastical creatures. It’s bloody and it’s dark. But it also has much to say. Continue reading —>

6 thoughts on ““A Long, Long Time Ago…””

  1. The whole premise here sounds fascinating! Question though: is it rated R simply for violence? Would like to check it out, but it may limit the family’s age demographic if it contains other stuff. :-) Btw, thanks so much for all of your reviews! It’s so much fun to learn about new and diverse books and movies! :-)

    1. It’s rated R for Graphic violence and some language – definitely a film for older viewers only (I’d say 17 and up). There’s no sexual content/nudity, but the violence is punishing. Profanity is infrequent, but the F-word makes an appearance four or five times.

      I think you’d appreciate the film, especially if you like thoughtful high fantasy like LOTR. I know some people might look askance at the idea of a “violent fairy tale”, but they forget that the fairy tales of the past were far darker (and grislier) than the Disney-fied stuff we get nowadays. :)

  2. Thanks! Loved LOTR, so glad to hear they are in the same genre. :-) And I know right?! Grimm’s fairy tales beat LOTR any day for sheer gore and horrific punishments, especially for the wicked. Dragging a naughty woman through the streets, in a barrel…studded with nails. Enjoy kids!

    1. LOL! One story I remember involved a forbidden chamber – if you broke the rules and entered anyway, you were chopped into small bits and deposited in a basin full of blood.

      Delightful. ;)

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