During the earlier days of movie watching, I was just another common movie watcher, and never really cared about who was acting, directing or spending money for the movie. But in the last few years, I have been looking at each minute detail about the movies, and I have come up with my favourites. I have them among the actors, but among the directors, my favourites one has been Guillermo del Toro, and I would call him Mr. Fantastico, and his movies are consistently fantastic!
I have always found it easier to connect with the movies from him, and each movie which he directed and I have watched, has given me different and yet special feelings. He has also written novels, and The Strain Trilogy about vampires is a well-known one. It was made into a television series and receieved positive opinions. I am looking forward to reading the novels or watching that series some day. So along with being director, screenwriter and producer, being a novelist also comes as one extra skill for Mr. Fantastico.
The movie that made me certain about his skills was Pan’s Labyrinth indeed. Originally titled El Laberinto del Fauno, this Spanish Dark Fantasy movie gave me a feeling that I could never really express in the right way, because it was that special. I often refer to this movie as the grand fantastico of all movies belonging to the same genre. If there is a dark fairy-tale that could rise above everything else, it is this movie, and this serves as your opportunity to fall in love with Princess Moanna, heir to the magical underworld.
I have recommended Pan’s Labyrinth to everyone without second thoughts, and it is a movie which brings you the idea about how Mr. Fantastico uses the themes and imagery to perfection. Getting 4/4 from Roger Ebert, 95% at the Rotten Tomatoes and 98% at the Metacritic – I would consider this as one of the greatest movies of all-time, and del Toro is the master of the fantastic, the truth that a lot of people fail to know because they haven’t watched this movie, and it is not right!
It has been about ten years after Pan’s Labyrinth had released, but you never really get out of that magical effect which the movie had created on the audience. I see Ivana Baquero, the girl who acted as the protagonist of the movie, and then I realize that it was so long ago. There are not many directors who have left such an effect on me with one movie; del Toro has actually continued the fantastic work in the later movies. Actually, there are a lot of his earlier movies which I really wanted to watch, but couldn’t as they were not available.
Then there was Hellboy from the same director – I love this one and its sequel, and I have never felt that a director could do Hellboy better than him. Del Toro is at his best with the creatures, he is at the highest level of fantastico with them and you might have realized that from the creature design in the Hellboy movies. These two also have heavy ratings from critics – do you remember the Angel of Death in the second movie? That was one dark fantastic creature, one of its kind.
His last two movies, Pacific Rim and Crimson Peak also remain my big favourites. Both these movies did better outside North America, and one thing about these two movies were that they were intellectually a long way ahead, and unless you manage to get there with the idea, it won’t work. The former was one of the best entertainers with monsters and robots while the latter was one of the best Gothic Romance Horror stories in the last few years. Well, if you are going to watch a movie from the master of visual beauty, Mr. Fantastico Guillermo del Toro, you need to get more fantastic!
***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of the movie, Crimson Peak.