Pan’s Labyrinth

This was my first time watching the film.  I did enjoy it, and definitely saw some fairy tale aspects even before Dr. Deveny’s lecture on Thursday. However, I was suprised by the large number of Propp’s functions that we identified within the film.  What I found more interesting, however, was that a lot of these functions were fulfilled not by Ofelia’s story alone, but rather by her interactions with Capt. Vidal, or in Mercede’s actions: two characters whose roles were almost completely separate from the fantasy side of the film (Ofelia’s quest).  This, to me, shows that fairy tales are reflective of us: we cannot separate the fantasy from the reality because they are parts of the whole: our world contains both, and the fairy tales we read reflect our lives.

 

Dr. Deveny’s final point was that the film’s major theme is independent thought: over and over again, characters refuse to obey blindly, instead choosing to defy orders for, ultimately, the greater good (Dr. Ferreiro and the Captain, Ofelia and the faun, etc.).  I think this theme is an interesting parallel to fairy tales in general: for don’t they, as well, promote independent thought?  Aside from Perrault’s forced morals at the end of every tale, they inspire readers to imagine, to think deeply about what it is they have read and interpret them as they will.  Unlike Disney’s and others’ one-dimensional film renderings that require no thought or imagination, Pan’s Labyrinth and the fairy tales that we have read cause the viewer/reader to put effort into thinking about these tales and how they reflect our society and ourselves.

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