Monday, January 08, 2007


*spoilers follow*

Borat was amazingly funny. Yes, there was a fair amount of gross-out bits involving, among other things, scatological humour and two naked men wrestling, but once you get past those bits, it's incredibly fun just to laugh at the whole WTF-ness of it all. It's also an enlightening movie once you see these so-called intelligent people reveal their hidden dark side, like when the frat boys from the University of South Carolina eagerly ask Borat if women are slaves in Russia.

Did I like it? Oh, most definitely. Great success. Ver' nice. High five!

Pan's Labyrinth

I didn't know what to expect from my first Guillermo del Toro film.

It turned out to be a surprisingly good, if rather dark, fairy tale set against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War in 1944. Ofelia (Ivana Baquero), an 11-year-old girl, travels with her pregnant mother, Carmen (Ariadna Gil), to join her stepfather, Captain Vidal (brilliantly played by Sergi Lopez) of the Spanish military who is fighting against the guerilla forces still holding out against the fascist government. At the mill where the Spanish army is based, Ofelia meets Mercedes (Maribel Verdu, Luisa from Y Tu Mama Tambien), the Captain's housekeeper and guerilla sympathiser.

Amidst the violence both within and without the mill (the Captain is a vicious and sadistic man), Ofelia escapes into a world of her own imagination, where she encounters Faun in the labyrinth behind the mill. There, she is told that she is the mortal reincarnation of Princess Moanna of the netherworld, and that they have been awaiting her return for some time now. In order to rejoin the kingdom, she has to complete three tasks.

Featuring a haunting lullaby as the soundtrack for much of the movie, and incredible graphics (I especially liked the Pale Man, a monster with eyes in the palms of his hands), this enchanting and brutal story is definitely a movie not to be missed.

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