I read "Pan's Labyrinth" yesterday. (I haven't watched the film.) Before reading the script I had wanted to see it. Now I'm thinking, nahh.
It was terribly depressing, had bits and pieces of fairy stories, and felt like a rip-off of "For Whom the Bell Tolls" which isn't really fair because the author is Spanish, it is his history, and anything serious set around the Spanish Revolution will compare to FWTBT. I think my issue was that there were too many character with parts that weren't big enough to make them memorable. There was also quite a bit of sudden -- and extreme -- cursing which completely didn't fit with the dialogue. I'm wondering if it is a story that has to steep and my opinion will change next week.
I don't mean to take away from the accomplishment of film, this is clearly a case of the script only hinting at the true story -- a feat often possible only when the author is also the director. It was a wildly successful film and there are plenty of people who enjoyed it.
The only chap I met who saw it and liked it was from Manchester, England. We were taking a class together when it came out and several folks had seen it and nobody else (all Yanks) liked it. I guess it just lacked the gravity to draw in American audiences.
Come on, that was funny.