In a fairy tale, Princess Moanna, whose father is the king of the underworld, visits the human world, where the sunlight blinds her and erases her memory. She becomes mortal and eventually dies. The king believes that eventually, her spirit will return to the underworld, so he builds labyrinths, which act as portals, around the world in preparation for her return. In 1944 Francoist Spain, ten-year-old Ofelia travels with her pregnant mother Carmen to meet Captain Vidal, her new stepfather. Vidal believes strongly in Falangism and has been assigned to hunt down republican rebels. A large stick insect, which Ofelia believes to be a fairy, leads Ofelia into an ancient stone labyrinth, but she is stopped by Vidal's housekeeper Mercedes, who is secretly supporting her brother Pedro and other rebels. That night, the insect appears in Ofelia's bedroom, where it transforms into a fairy and leads her through the labyrinth. There, she meets a faun, who believes she is the reincarnation of Princess Moanna. He gives her a book and tells her she will find in it three tasks to complete in order for her to acquire immortality and return to her kingdom. Ofelia completes the first task — retrieving a key from the belly of a giant toad — but becomes worried about her mother, whose condition is worsening. The faun gives Ofelia a mandrake root, instructing her to keep it under Carmen's bed in a bowl of milk and regularly supply it with blood, which seems to ease Carmen's illness. Accompanied by three fairy guides and equipped with a piece of magic chalk, Ofelia then completes the second task — retrieving a dagger from the lair of the Pale Man, a child-eating monster. Although warned not to consume anything there, she eats two grapes, awakening the Pale Man. He devours two of the fairies and chases Ofelia, but she manages to escape. Infuriated at her disobedience, the faun refuses to give Ofelia the third task. During this time, Ofelia becomes aware of Vidal's ruthlessness in the course of hunting down the rebels. After killing two local farmers detained on false suspicion of aiding the rebels, Vidal interrogates and tortures a captive rebel. He asks Doctor Ferreiro to tend to the captive, whom Ferreiro then euthanises at the rebel's own urging. Realising that Ferreiro is a rebel collaborator, Vidal kills him. Vidal later catches Ofelia tending to the mandrake root, which he considers delusional. Carmen agrees and throws the root into the fire. She immediately develops painful contractions and dies giving birth to Vidal's son. Mercedes, having been discovered to be a spy, tries to escape with Ofelia, but they are caught. Ofelia is locked in her bedroom, while Mercedes is taken to be interrogated and tortured. Mercedes frees herself, and stabs Vidal non-lethally in her escape to re-join the rebels. The faun, having changed his mind about giving Ofelia a chance to perform the third task, returns and tells her to bring her newborn brother into the labyrinth to complete it. Ofelia successfully retrieves the baby and flees into the labyrinth. Vidal pursues her as the rebels launch an attack on the outpost. Ofelia meets the faun at the centre of the labyrinth. The faun suggests drawing a small amount of the baby's blood, as completing the third task and opening the portal to the underworld requires the blood of an innocent, but Ofelia refuses to harm her brother. Vidal finds her talking to the faun, whom he cannot see. The faun leaves, and Vidal takes the baby from Ofelia's arms before shooting her. Vidal returns to the labyrinth's entrance, where he is surrounded by rebels, including Mercedes and Pedro. Knowing that he will be killed, he hands the baby to Mercedes, asking that his son be told the time of his father's death. Mercedes replies that his son will not even know his name, before Pedro shoots Vidal dead. Mercedes enters the labyrinth and comforts a motionless, dying Ofelia. Drops of Ofelia's blood fall down the centre of the spiral stone staircase onto an altar. Ofelia, well dressed and uninjured, then appears in a golden throne room. The King of the underworld tells her that, by choosing to spill her own blood rather than that of another, she passed the final test. The faun praises Ofelia for her choice, addressing her once more as "Your Highness". The Queen of the underworld, her mother, invites Ofelia to sit next to her father and rule at his side. Back in the stone labyrinth, Ofelia smiles as she dies. The epilogue completes the tale of Princess Moanna, stating that she returned to the Underworld, ruled with kindness and justice for many centuries, and left little traces of her time in the human realm, "visible only to those who know where to look." Cast Ofelia: A twelve-year-old girl with an imaginative spirit, Ofelia is the heart of the story. Escaping the harsh reality of her surroundings, she discovers an ancient labyrinth in the woods and encounters a mysterious faun who believes her to be the reincarnation of a princess from a magical underworld. Ofelia is courageous and compassionate, facing both the magical and brutal aspects of her world with determination. Captain Vidal: Captain Vidal, Ofelia's stepfather, is the film's antagonist. Ruthless and cold, Vidal represents the oppressive fascist regime. His sole focus is on quashing rebellion, and he views compassion and morality as weaknesses. Vidal's brutality is not limited to the battlefield; it extends to his treatment of Ofelia's mother and anyone he deems a threat. Mercedes: Mercedes is the head housekeeper at the Captain's estate, but she secretly supports the rebels. Despite her compliance with Vidal's orders, she harbors a deep resentment for the oppressive regime. Mercedes becomes a crucial ally for Ofelia, torn between loyalty to her people and the need to protect the innocent. The Faun: A mysterious creature living in the labyrinth, the faun gives Ofelia tasks to complete to prove her worthiness as the reincarnated princess. The faun embodies both benevolence and stern judgment, providing guidance to Ofelia on her journey. However, he also warns her of the consequences of disobedience. As Ofelia navigates her challenging reality, the lines between fantasy and reality blur, and she must make choices that will shape her destiny. "Ofelia's Labyrinth" is a tale of innocence against brutality, where the magical realm becomes a refuge for a young girl seeking solace from the horrors of the adult world.
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