We’re not in Kansas anymore, Del Toro

Oasis performing at Knebworth

I always found Oasis’s song Don’t Go Away mesmerizing, not that the rest of their songs are of any less value to me ( I mean Liam is my mr tambourine man in a sense and don’t get me started on Noel ).

Besides the lyrics, don’t go away’s music video is something I recently discovered, I remember seeing the video before I found it rather odd and frankly stupid but in past few days as I was watching Oasis live performances, I stumbled upon the video, the surrealism that I didn’t understand as a teenager was due to my lack of familiarity of Rene Magritte. Watching the video brought back memories of the cold rainy morning I spent browsing through Magritte’s museum fascinated by the 200 pieces of art or so hanging in the dimly let quite corridors of the place.

There is another characteristic to this song, a paragraph that I always found haunting

So don't go away,
Say what you say
Say that you'll stay
Forever and a day

It is poetic, the way Liam says forever and a day, where the idea of spending forever with someone is no longer enough anymore to communicate their significant to you, you need another day!

It always reminded me of all the fairy tales my mother told me as a child,

“and they lived forever happily ever after”
the end.

even this was not enough now.

I appreciate darkness when it comes to fairy tales, the struggle and sadness that surrounds the characters usually, but I’ve never seen a fairy tale that redefined fairy tales like Pan’s Labyrinth.

Pan’s Labyrinth (El laberinto del fauno), is a 2006 Spanish-Mexican dark fantasy film written and directed by Guillermo del Toro. It takes place in 1944 fascist Spain, I’m going to spoil things hereafter, so if you haven’t seen it, I’d advise you to stop, go watch it then come back.

The film starts off by a scene from the ending, Ofelia, the young heroine lies shot in the faun’s labyrinth. Del Toro broke the essence of the fairytale we’re used to with this scene, there is no happily ever after for Ofelia.

If you’re realistic that’s what you’ll probably conclude by the end of the movie, the tasks, the faun, the underworld, it was all in her head, a child’s way of making sense of the horrible war and her tragic life.

On the other hand, if you’re more of an optimist you’d take the version of events where you choose to believe it was not just a child’s coping mechanism, with the war, her mother’s sickness and the evil evil Captain Vidal. You’d believe both the world of the faun and the real world coexisted and Ofelia did get a happy ending.

The faun and Ofelia

The film’s main theme I guess is disobedience, whether you question things or just do what anyone else orders you to, I see in Ofelia, as little as she is a great inspiring character, until the very end, where is she is shot, she still disobeys.

The film is full of fairy tale references, to Alice in wonderland, the wizard of Oz, where at the end you see Ofelia wearing those red shoes and clicking them together as if she was going home.

But you know, we are not in Kansas anymore, we grow up and to each has their own coping mechanisms with reality. Some use fantasy and fairytales to make sense of the world around them, but like Ofelia I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else so I have no idea what the others do to cope and I’m not planning on finding out anytime soon.

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