Guillermo Del Toro's movie Pan's Labyrinth progresses simultaneously at two levels with Ofelia, the eleven year old protagonist, being the only one to partake in the plot on both sides of the divide. The dual canvases that Guillermo Del Toro paints are fascinating; on one he paints a pastoral landscape marred by the violence of war, and on the other he paints a world bereft of light, but one that holds the promise of hope. At one level that is Ofelia's very own, she is an Alice in Grimms fairyland, with goblins, satyrs, monsters, spells, magical chalks etall, trying to get back to her magical kingdom where she is an immortal Princess. Then there's the other level, a 'grimmer' one, that is set in Spain during the fascist regimes of the 1940s where Ofelia is but one of the many victims of a cruel captain, also her step father, the ultimate monster who savours brutality. He unleashes unimaginable violence and torture, without qualms, on local partisans who are hiding in the forests beyond Ofelia's magical labyrinth.
The connection, if at all, between the reality of the Spanish Civil War and the fantasy world of Ofelia, is for the audience to fathom.
Due to the naked violence and gore, I would not recommend this movie to the fragile, but anyone interested in seeing a 'different' movie, this is it!