Sunday, December 03, 2006

Pan's Labyrinth, and mine.

"Innocence has a power evil cannot imagine"
I watched this film the other day. It was called Pan's Labyrinth. A film by Guillermo Del Toro, friend and colleague of Alfonso Cuaron, creator of Y Tu Mama Tambien, Pan's Labyrinth was screened at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.

It is a spanish film, set in the era of the world wars and Nazism, and in particular, in the time of the Spanish civil war - it was a story of a little girl who attempts to live in fantasy, in order to survive the harshness of reality. The reality is that she doesn't know who her father is, and that her mother is pregnant with the child of a Franco-Nazi Captain. And the reality is what's happening all around her. Violence and brutality of the spanish people at the hands of the right wing 'Franco-ans'. Her fantasy is that she is a princess of the underworld and has to complete three tasks before she can return to her world where she will reign as princess. Reality and fantasy entwine at very significant junctures of the film. The sheer innocence of the girl is a stark contrast to the grotesque brutality of the Captain. And as the film proceeds, the death of innocence and the triumph of evil seem more and more apparent. The end...while I don't want to give away too much, because I really really think it's a film worth watching, is bittersweet.

But it devastated me. For days I sat up thinking about the film. I think I saw something of me, in that film. The film spoke to me. Reality was so harsh and so real. I became acutely aware of the number of times I've been told that I live in a world that isnt real. That I live in a happy place where things happen in a way that they don't, in reality. That I live in a world much much less cruel than it really is. And that sometimes I deny reality because in my world, it isnt like that. It's true...I do live in a world that is, in some ways, far from reality.

But reality is reality isn't it...And I do realise that for brief moments like Ofelia in the film does - that reality is different from her fantasy world, but even as she lies beside the labyrinth, bleeding...her thoughts are of being reunited with her father, the king of the underworld, because she has spilled the blood of an innocent(herself) in the labyrinth..which was the final task before she can be accepted as the Princess again.

I thought about how my world is different from reality. There are some differences that make me afraid. A lot of reality makes me lose faith in a lot of things. And perhaps that's why I hide from it. Accepting those bits of reality means forcing myself to be someone I'm not comfortable being.

I thought of what I thought of friendship, and what friendship really is today. I think friendship goes deeper than facebooks and orkuts(sorry to keep harping on that point), I think friendship goes beyond the "good times". But here I stand, facebook acquaintance to many, wondering what it takes to be a friend in the only way I know how to be, and in the only way other people don't. How am I to fix this disruption of the mundane equillibrium? Should I change? Or should I expect the world to change? The latter seems too much to ask, but the former seems like an injustice to myself and to who I have fought to be, for years now.

I thought of how easily people give up on eachother in the real world. And me, silly me, I still will not. Despite everything. I don't believe in giving up on people. And yet reality triumphs over my world again. Because when I let myself open the doors of denial, and actually look out, I know that sometimes giving up is all you can do. But I can't bring myself to do the same. And it hurts. But no one is to blame for that. Not the person who I refused to give up on, not the other people who warned me to give up. I am to blame. Because I do eventually close those doors of denial upon reality.

Watching the film moved me, but it scared me. As I shed tears, grabbed the nearest person's arm when something sudden happened, closed my eyes tight when there was too much blood, and jumped out of my skin at other times...I was still just an audience. A spectator. But as soon as the film ended, a panic started oozing into my gut. By the time I came out of the cinema hall, I was completely panic-striken. The word I used then, was "Depression". I was depressed!!

And it is only over the next few days, as I pondered and reflected upon the film, that I realised why.


Blogger Luís said...

I was thinking about the movie too.

What's so wrong about being crazy and living in a world you created? Okay, not talking about autism here, but having a bit o imagination is healthy for everybody.

there's a brazilian song that goes like this:

people say i'm crazy
if they have 3 cars, i can fly
if they are handsome, i'm alain delon
if they are famous, i'm napoleon
if they pray a lot, i'm already in heaven
i swear it's much better not being normal if i can believe i'm god
people say i'm crazy, but crazy are those who say they are not happy
i'm happy

Ofelia believed in something, and that belief turned the dream into reality!

December 4, 2006 at 2:16:00 AM GMT+5:30  
Anonymous Jeanette said...

I think you know in your heart what is real..

What reality is for you, need not be what it is for everyone else.
We are all different, all individual, We don't need to suppress ourselves, wallowing in the depressed quick sand of what's called this world's reality.

How can we even know what is to be called reality? It was just defined by someone else, and who were they know about yours or my reality?
- All they knew was their own..

I'm leaving you a little poem I wrote;

My reality.

Far beyond this twisted realm of nothingness,
Far beyond these shores of inhumanity,
I believe in grace, courage,
and other subtle things,
not enclosed within a soul
wrapped in it's own vanity.

I believe in fairies, wishes, honesty and noble spirits.
There's a place with greater depth
than anyone who lives within it.

When I'm hollow,
I am still
with profound link of gravity,
though it's far away my world,
And you might call it fantasy,
I'm more alive, a little girl,
in this, my own reality.

December 4, 2006 at 2:57:00 AM GMT+5:30  
Blogger vichchoobhai said...

Your reality and my reality, creating walls between people, living in ivory towers, not knowing what real hardship is. How 90 percent of humaniaty writhes in misery. . Live in a cocoon. Occasionally see a film like this to pinch yourself and know that there is another world. Expiate yourself vicariously. Call it life. Till when?
Sceptre and crown must tumble down and in the dust be equal made with the crooked scythe and spade.

Death will be the great leveller. On the other side of Lethe we are all equal. That is REALITY. All else is illusion.

December 5, 2006 at 7:50:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Sylvan Goddess said...

Hmmmmm Vichchoobhai - My world/reality isn't about creating walls between people. It's about desecrating them. The reality is that there are walls in the real world that cannot be desecrated, no matter how hard anyone tries.

Watching this film wasn't like pinching myself about the reality of hardship, misery etc. It spoke to me quite differently. And what I was tryig to say was quite simple really. Not complicated or profound.

December 5, 2006 at 11:01:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Blogger vichchoobhai said...

Sorry, Sylvan Goddess. My comments were provoked by Jeannette's poem. I should have been more careful.

December 6, 2006 at 7:54:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Sylvan Goddess said...

Ah cheers! No worries. :)

December 6, 2006 at 10:08:00 PM GMT+5:30  

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