Labyrinth is about a dramatic teenage girl’s journey through a treacherous maze to rescue her baby brother. Whether the movie takes place in Sarah’s vivid imagination or not, it’s a fantastical coming of age story that is coveted for a variety of reasons. Let’s consider the pros and cons of Labyrinth…
Pros: Firstly, Jennifer Connelly not only carries this movie, but goes toe to toe with the legendary David Bowie. As a child actor, her performance is commendable and gives the younger audience a confident and determined role model to look up to. Secondly, director Jim Henson’s experience as puppeteer is on full display in this movie. Every goblin and stuffed critter is incredibly detailed and lifelike! Lastly, I can’t talk about Labyrinth without mentioning David Bowie’s musical numbers which he also wrote himself. “Dance Magic” in particular is a catchy song accompanied by a fun and upbeat dancing scene.
Cons: Unfortunately, after “Dance Magic” the story goes into some dark places, both figuratively and literally. In fact, I’m unconvinced this isn’t meant to be a horror movie. Because not only does the dread of a kidnapped sibling kick in right away, but the prospect of adulthood is also frightening. Secondly, some of Sarah’s interactions with Jareth are over romanticized, which is questionable to say the least based on their age difference. Not to mention the groping shaft of hands and the boundary violating Fireys she meets along the way. It depends how deeply you want to read into these scenes, but some of them are slightly unsettling.
I give Labyrinth a B+. It’s a fantastical coming of age story with a slightly dark, but overall whimsical tone. It hasn’t aged perfectly, but this 80’s time capsule is full of nostalgia and memorable moments. Happy Watching!
- Special Effects
“You remind me of the babe.”