Biting a Baby in Half

Our friends at TORN have provided us with a transcript of a chat with Anthony Moody, who recently had an extended interview with GDT. Moody mentions this fascinating story about Ofelia’s encounter with the Pale Man:

By the way [GDT] also mentioned something really interesting which is when she goes into to see (and I forget the characters name) – the Monster with the eyes on his palm… [Sohaib: “Oh, the Pale Man]… Right! When she goes in to his lair and she takes the grape, he’d [Guillermo] originally wanted her to eat half the grape and then pull it back and show the other half of the grape in her hand and reveal that she had bitten a baby in half inside the grape.

So what do you think of this visual? For one, I regret that he wasn’t able to put this visual in the film, be it budget constraints or simple choice. This is such an indelible image and something that I believe fits perfectly into how Pan’s Labyrinth works as a film. 1) Guillermo wanted the film to convey a certain “uneasiness”, especially in regards to the violence. This was his way to “put-off” viewers as to the violonce of the civil war. There was nothing glamorous about the deaths in this film. This image I think would inspire that same uneasiness. It would stay with you. 2) There is foreshadowing here, for sure – Ofelia’s destiny is entwined with the fate of her little brother. Her choice to eat the grape against the rules, to rebel, signifies the power that she holds. But is the baby her brother? I don’t think so. I see it more as a forecast for her own death.

What do you think?

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