Review on Pan's Labyrinth, Babel, and Kyle XY


Pan’s Labyrinth

Once when I was in my Primary years, there was this movie on TV3, called Labyrinth (if I’m not mistaken). I was scared and had trouble sleeping for the whole week. So when I saw this movie’s trailer on Apple.com, the Labyrinth movie and it’s effect quickly comes to mind.

But then, I’m older now, and it shouldn’t be that scary anymore, right?

Half right, half wrong. although I did not have trouble sleeping afterwards, but the imagery still stuck in my head. Pan’s Labyrinth, although with it’s child character, is not a mere child fantasy story. It’s a dark movie, of which the dark fantasies reflects our dark side.

I’m not supposed to tell you the story, nor do you need a synopsis to enjoy it. Quite the contrary. Similar to Babel, this movie needs to be enjoyed with as little knowledge of its story as possible.

The fantasy world in this story is fascinating, but too little for my liking. It’s like the writer only managed to conjure several characters, unlike the vast variety of characters of The Big Fish, Narnia, and even Alice in Wonderland. It’s also dark scary, which reminds me of the movie Silent Hill and several games of that genre. Don’t expect the Faun in this movie to be as cute as the one in Narnia, what more to be like the one in (oh, god forbid) Epic Movie.

The story, however, is enticing. Although it is not entirely clear which is real, which is not, but it is told in such a simple manner, that no confusion would ensue. Everything is told one by one, mostly through the eyes of Ofelia, the female protagonist in this movie.

The adventures are simple, and reminds me of the ‘dangerous’ tasks Harry Potter endured in The Goblet of Fire. and there are too little. Even Alice in Wonderland or Wizard of Oz have more adventure, that outshines this movie in comparison. The military outpost on which the story is set do not look like a genuine one, with the lack of security and all. Maybe it was how it was at that time, but other epic military movies seems to suggest otherwise.

One thing that boggles my mind is, why is the title “Pan’s Labyrinth“? In it’s original language, Spanish, the title is ‘El Laberinto del Fauno‘ , which translates to The Faun’s Labyrinth. How come a Faun is called Pan? Is Peter Pan a Faun?

Now, it’s hard to do a review on this movie, without letting out too much information and ruin the ending, or even the journey itself. One had to watch him/herself to truly appreciate the visuals, subliminals, and the colors (or the lack thereof) of this movie. I would suggest this to most of you, but be prepared to winch at the gore sights that awaits you. Not for the faint-hearted, this movie.

I’d give it 3.5/5 stars

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Babel

Babel is a unique piece of art. A confusing one too. As a synopsis, there’s 4 stories, all interconnected to each other by an incident, set in 4 very different locations, in 4 very different languages and environments, in 4 different timeline. See, I told you it would be confusing, but interesting nevertheless, yes?

I don’t know how they’d imagine doing this kind of storytelling, since it’s new to me. Each story is linear on its own, but when combined into a movie, the Director refused to adhere to the timeline, instead he tells it, as he wants it. Kind of Christopher Nolan’s Memento. But that’s way linear as compared to this movie.

Story wise, it’s about listening and understanding each other, hence the title and the tagline. The entire crisis in this movie is because of presumptions, and miscommunications. How US presumes that all of its citizen’s mishaps in Middle East were caused by terrorists, and how alien a person would be if s/he failed to communicate to the world as the world wants it.

I literally watched it with my jaws hanging, as this is the kind of movie where we could not predict the ending. The chance that it would have a tragic ending, or a happy one is equal. Not to mention that there’s 4 stories to worry about.

If you’re into a crisis type of movie, with not much action, lots of talking, and delves into the dark side of reality, I’d recommend you this movie. To me, it’s brilliant. It makes you wonder how things would turn out to be in the end, as it would have been in the real life.

I’d give it 4/5 stars

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Kyle XY

I have to admit. When TV3 aired the advert for this series, I was thinking “what kind of a lame title is this. Not another John Doe kind of movie. Typical. LAME!!!”. Seriously, it’s exactly what I was thinking.

But on the pilot episode, I realized that this is not a run-of-the-mill investigation series, like John Doe, Numb3rs, or even CSI. The writer(s) for this series managed to combine a family values genre, with an investigative genre.

Maybe the writers throws in the family/humanity values to make us fall in love with Kyle, before they turn the series upside down by putting Kyle in a difficult position. But that’s just my guess, judging from previous series, and the mysterious endings on each episode.

I believe the main attraction of this series, is the “discoveries” Kyle has on a daily basis. It reminds us on what we do every day, and why we do it, even the idiotic ones. It’s nice to be reminded of ourselves once in a while. And the ‘thoughts’ of Kyle always bring a smile to me for it’s sincerity, and how confusing we would seem to others.

I’m still following this series, it’s still new to give it a rating. But for a family values series’ perspective, it’s sure a nice twist rather than the normal dysfunctional family shows.

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2 responses to “Review on Pan's Labyrinth, Babel, and Kyle XY”

  1. I’m really looking forward for pan’s labyrinth, because guillermo del toro directed it -did I spelled his name right?.
    as for babel, I’ll put it on my list, maybe not a must watch, but at least before I die, since I grew fond of this kind of story -drama- this lately.
    I don’t follow kyle xy, I’m pretty busy at night, but I think it’s somehow enjoyable. anyway, I think the title is cheesy. isn’t it ?

  2. biped : Unluckily it’s not shown in Malaysia, at least not for now. It’s actually a good movie, only the imagination part is a bit limited..pity.

    Babel, i would recommend you if you appreciate this kind of movie. Nothing much to shout about, just a bunch of people trying to handle some situations, but the way it was told is what I love.

    I agree with you, that the title does sounds cheesy, and even the title’s graphic is plain photoshop embossed effect. but I was suprised that I actually enjoyed the movie, although not to the point that I can’t wait for the next episode. The mystery is not the main part of the story as yet.