Monday, March 21, 2011

Javier Navarrete - Pan's Labyrinth Soundtrack

2006; 21 tracks

This is a very shadowy, very Spanish soundtrack. It has the perfect balance of mystery and purity. Javier Navarrete is a Spanish-born composer of film music, and even composed the music to another del Toro film (The Devil's Backbone).

Directed by the infamously dark director Guillermo del Toro, Pan's Labyrinth, or El Laberinto del Fauno, is the story of an innocent young girl, Ofelia, who lives a hard life during the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. Taken away to live with her mother and cruel stepfather in the war-torn countryside of Spain, Ofelia is swept up in a fantastical journey. The ancient Princess Moanna resides inside her, and with the help of a magical Faun and his fairy friends, Ofelia is meant to return Moanna to her original state. As Ofelia's pregant mother grows more sick, and Ofelia tries desperately to comply with the Faun's needs, the film grows increasingly disheartening. The moment when Ofelia speaks to her brother in her mother's stomach was when the tears came to my eyes, and this soundtrack carries the tragic story along in infinite gentleness.

In the liner notes, Mr. del Toro describes how the film itself is a bedtime story and how it required a lullaby to carry the tale from start to finish. Javier Navarrete created this score surrounding a simple lullaby, one you will hear many times sung in the film. It is a very lovely melody, and even during the darkest parts of the film you can hear the indistinct notes falling above the destruction, and realize how the film could very well be just a bedtime story. This is an incredible soundtrack for an incredible movie, and I'm sure that everyone who listens to it will instantly fall in love.



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