Pan's Labyrinth Film Analysis Essay

1208 Words Nov 5th, 2012 5 Pages
Vanessa Salfen
6/29/2012
Visual Analysis

Pan’s Labyrinth: A Visual Analysis
Pan’s Labyrinth, originally titled El laberinto del fauno, was published in 2006 by the Spanish director Guillermo del Toro. The story is set in the year 1944, in the country-side of a post-Civil War Spain. A young and imaginative girl named Ofelia, played by Ivana Baquero, travels with her pregnant mother, Carmen Vidal, who is very ill; in order to meet and live with her stepfather, a cruel and sadistic man named Capitan Vidal (Sergi Lopez). During the first night of their stay, Ofelia meets a fairy that leads her to a pit in the center of a labyrinth where they soon meet a faun (Doug Jones). The faun tells Ofelia that she is a princess from a faerie kingdom
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He uses these most prominently to depict the film’s villain as an authoritarian, power-hungry, and cruel man. This harsh commander has total power over the rural town that he inhabits and the steely-blue lighting is able to demonstrate that immaculately. It illustrates a gloomy atmosphere that he himself has created, as whenever there are scenes set in his village, the cold blue tones are cast over the screen. The blue lighting is there to highlight that the events in reality are cold-natured and unjust. He speaks only in a short and sharp manner, consistently ordering other’s about. The techniques by del Toro are used to manipulate the viewer’s attitude towards Vidal thus giving a strict, controlling, and heartless impression of him.
Lighting is used as a major technique in this film as it is often used to set the mood. Due to Vidal’s world always being shown enveloped in blue-grey hue, it immediately shows the viewers that is isn’t a welcoming place to be. This shade of lighting helps create a detached feeling which is in great contrast to the golden, homely, and warm lighting of Ofelia’s fantasy world portraying a safe and enchanting atmosphere.
This is most apparent at the end of the film when Ofelia is lying in the labyrinth close to death. When Vidal has just shot her, dark blue shadows loom into the air, they begin to