Pan's Lab PAPER - Manela 1 Eric Manela Professor Celando...

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Manela 1 Eric Manela Professor Celando Film 46 10 March 2008 Mise en Scene in Pan’s Labyrinth It is rumored that long ago in a city underground, there lived a Princess who escaped to the upper world, only to die a short while thereafter. The rumor continues to tell that her soul would be reborn, in another place and time, and that she would eventually return to her father in the underground realm. Fast forward to Spain, 1944, in which resistance forces are battling the newly established Fascist regime. Caught in the middle of this fray, young Ofelia and her mother, Carmen, arrive at the outpost of Captain Vidal, Carmen’s new husband. At the outpost, Ofelia’s involvements with Pan the faun lead her to discover her true identity as the Princess Moanna and reunite with her family in the underworld. Throughout Pan’s Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro, 2006), a theme of nature versus machine and light versus dark pervades the plot. The juxtaposition of bright and dimly lit scenes and earth tones versus shades of gray and blue present the duality of good and evil in the film. Yet there remains over-arching theme of nature prevailing over all. The mise en scene, particularly the use of costuming, lighting, and motifs, employed in Pan’s Labyrinth portray a grim fairytale world in which nature and light rule supreme over man-made machinery and darkness. For the majority of the film, earth tones of green and brown clothe the protagonist and fill her surroundings, while grays, blues and black represent the antagonistic elements. The greens and browns present in the film are consistent with the forested setting and earthy environment of
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Manela 2 the mill. The resemblance to nature that the colors bring clues the viewers in to the fact that those who are dressed in such colors hold their hearts close nature. The protagonist, Ofelia, is always garbed in green, from her forest green overcoat to her lime green gown. Accordingly, she spends much of her time wandering in the forest, surrounded by trees and lush undergrowth. Even in the face of an adversary such as the giant toad, she is covered in brown mud and surrounded by a canopy of roots and earth, ensuring that she is indeed safe, although thoroughly dirty. Ofelia is not the only one to bear the mark of nature. The fairy that visits her is also a brown hue, and, likewise, Pan is contrived of a multitude of browns, greens, and tans. He seems to be made of earth itself. In his first appearance, moss and twigs even cling to his limbs as he staggers about. Mercedes, the main servant at the post, always wear a humble mix of browns and greens, and her work is always in the interest of do-gooders. She even shares blood with one of the resistance fighters, who uses nature as his shield and hiding place. Ofelia, Mercedes, and Pan are the three characters in the film that are always seen wearing some sort of green or brown, and they are the truly good-natured characters in the film.
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