Nando’s Labyrinth

On Thursday night, after my gassy fun, I headed into town to meet up with the usual suspects for food and a film.

For some reason we ended up in Nando’s on Regent Street. I don’t know why but I felt about ten years too old for the place. It reminded me of a 1970s trip to a Wimpy bar in Waltham Cross when my grandma asked for a knife and fork. And when tomato ketchup came in tomato-shaped squeezy bottles. Mind you, Nando’s had proper Heinz bottles.

Anyway, the food was OK and the view was acceptable.

Avaragado’s rating: a chickpea

To the film! Pan’s Labyrinth. At first glance, a screenplay that must surely have been the result of a photocopying catastrophe: A gritty thriller about Spanish fascists in 1944 accidentally collated with an effects-filled fantasy about a young girl and some fairies, now with automatic stapling!

But no. Writer/director Guillermo del Toro weaves the two story strands together pretty well – and he doesn’t hold back on gruesome camera shots either. It always amuses me to hear audiences when they see a needle penetrating skin in glorious digital widescreen colour. It’s rated 15 in the UK, R in the US, so, you know, think on. Strangely from the trailer I imagined a more fantasy-oriented child-friendly film with the fascists only in the background, but maybe that was just me.

It’s in Spanish with subtitles, but then I always think that makes the acting better.

Avaragado’s rating: two grapes

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