Narrative Techniques In Pan's Labyrinth

In this essay I will be talking about the use of narrative in Guillermo Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, to subvert the traditional western style cinema,the use of Costume to emphasis the traits of the engaging characters that have been created in this film as well as Lighting to establish the atmosphere of each scene. Del Toro uses Disobedience as a theme for this film, The main character Ofelia, disobeys almost every authority present in the film, The rebels present in the military conflict of the film disobey the spanish dictatorship, even the narrative structure of the film itself disobeys the established formula of Hollywood movies. The costumes have been meticulously designed to truthfully represent the time and setting of the film, with each …show more content…
It is played in reverse, with the opening scene showing the end to Ofelia’s story, which is the final scene in the movie. The final scene is shown in the beginning, subverting the classical Hollywood narrative structure. With this addition, the entire film is, from that moment, a flashback of Ofelia’s time in the valley. This deviation from the classical Hollywood narrative structure, the disobedience, permeates the film completely. Disobedience is a recurring motif throughout the movie. In our introduction to Ofelia, she is shown disobeying her mother's wishes to do away with fantasies and fairytales. Once we are introduced to Mercedes and Doctor Ferreiro, we discover that they disobey Captain Vidal, their employer, and are helping the rebel resistance. During Ofelia’s trials, she disobeys the faun two times, once selfishly, and the second time, altruistically. The first time, she is enraptured by the Pale Man’s feast and steals two grapes, which leads to the death of two fairies. The second time, she refuses to allow the faun to take her baby brother’s blood in order to open the portal to the underworld. Disobedience is the driving force behind this narrative and without it the narrative would not have …show more content…
Before the faun’s first task Ofelia is given a new dress by her mother,for her to wear at dinner that night. This dress is a copy of Alice’s dress from Alice In Wonderland, with the exception of the bright blue replaced with an emerald green. While wearing the dress, she seeks out a withered fig tree, which she then has to climb down into the roots of to remove a pest, which has been killing the tree. The connection to Alice grows, as Alice too descended into a tree to enter a fantasy world. Both Characters are young girls who descend down a hole and escape the real world entering a fantastical world. Another allegory used by Del Toro is The Pale Man, who seems to reference a multitude of child eating creatures, such as the greek Cronos the Titan, who ate his god children, The Wendigo, a cannibalistic spirit of North America, Or a Boogeyman, used to scared children from acts of

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