Andreas Mortensen’s review published on Letterboxd:
Pan's Labyrinth always does to me what so few movies ever do. It's a work filled with filmmaking wonder and actual purpose told through both creative fantasy and historical events. It's a fully realized world, carefully placed within our own. Just like in any child's mind.
The themes are perfectly complemented in both realities in the movie. The captain, who's main emotional motivation comes from a drive to further his father's name, represents the singular human's desire to be remembered. It's an honorable and clear cause within this movie villain.
The faun explains his disappointment in Ophelia's mistakes by talking about how they are in danger of being forgotten forever, like mankind eventually will. The fairy tale creatures have withered away and are waiting in the last ever relic of their past. And of course, there's the the blue flower that will grant eternal life to whoever ventures through its thorns.
But arguably the most important story is about the blind following of authority. The non questioning, principle cemented mentality that so many wars and tyrants are about. It's no coincidence that the final task in this fairy tale is to disobey.
The whole film is just so beautiful through its brutality. Pan's Labyrinth is a culmination of some of the purest creative joy and vision. Every single element is both a superb collaboration between some of the most talented people available for every department, and one filmmaker's integrity.
Peak Guillermo was peak passion.