Years ago in high school, a kid in my art class did a great imitation of a character from Labyrinth, Luto. At the time, I had no idea what he was doing, funny as it was. Since then Id caught a glimpse of Labyrinth twice, but it wasnt until recently that I finally, finally saw the movie from start to finish.
*giggle* Ah fun times.
Sarah is a bit spoiled, who resents the way her stepmother makes her watch her half-brother, Toby, while her parents go out and enjoy themselves. She makes a wish that the Goblin King would come and take Toby away. Mm. Wish granted. Sure enough, Jareth the Goblin King shows up in her room, and though Sarah is remorseful, Jareth wont budge. Unless Yep, if Sarah can navigate her way through his Labyrinth and make it to his castle, she can have Toby back. If not, Toby stays in the Underground forever and becomes a goblin. Maybe if Sarah just stayed with Jareth and allowed her dreams to come true instead...
The one thing people talk about most with this movie is David Bowie playing the part of Jareth and his Tight Spandex Pants. I mean, honestly, its hard not to. 1986 David Bowie + tight stretchy pants. Whew! Aside from that bit of distraction (and trust me, it is), hes actually a very good Jareth. He does sing (why wouldnt they have him sing?) but it manages to make its way into the movie rather well. Though I still dont understand the point of the Magic Dance song (I guess hes trying to entertain Toby), I get sucked into the fun 80s style boogie, from the electronic/synth sounds to Bowie himself.
Sarah is played by the talented Jennifer Connelly (Dark Water, Blood Diamond). She makes a great Sarah, starting off whiny and spoiled before learning a few lessons about friendship and selflessness. While she is young here, she looks extremely pretty in the ballroom gown she wears for a brief, dream-like time, a testament to her future fairness. And despite the whole young Sarah + older Jareth thing, there are plenty of girls out there who overlook that whole bit of reality and fall into the sheer delightfulness of the idea of getting carried off by a Goblin King (though that sort of relationship did sound a bit like an unhealthy co-dependent one, but shh, well pretend thats not what it is).
As for the story itself, people who enjoyed The Dark Crystal are often recommended this one as well, mostly because its fun fantasy and a creation of the magic that is Jim Henson. While I wasnt one for The Dark Crystal, I did like this movie. From the dialogue to the scenery to the crazy music and Jareths costumes (spandex pants notwithstanding). Im a fantasy buff and a sucker for stories like these. I cant help myself, really (just look at my love for Mirrormask). Im the girl that would love nothing more than to get chucked into a place like the Labyrinth, even with dangerous creatures and things like a Bog of Eternal Stench. And as weird as the Jim Henson creations are (admittedly, I could do without the Fierys and the whole Chilly Down acid-induced song sequence), its hard not to admire them for their uniqueness, as well as the skill involved to create them and then puppeteer them.
You will have to keep in mind that, even to my surprise, there are a few moments of swearing (a damn here and there), as well as some indirect shots of goblin, er, wankers. More or less something that, as an adult, you'd do a double take on, and then at the second look, it'd be gone. Kids aren't likely to notice anything, but you never know these days. Either way, I thought, "Well that's random" and got over it. Just figured I'd offer fair warning.
Its fun to watch this for different reasons. The main story. The Sarah & Jareth subplot. The Jim Henson goodies. The scenery. The random odd things that pop upthats right. Look closely in a few places and youll see Jareth faces imposed upon rocks and such in the Labyrinth. You never know what youll see next in that place.
To watch this, youll have to be ready for 1986 effects, Jim Henson creations, mid-movie songs, and overall weirdness. But if you like a good fairy tale and remember the fun of puppets, then by all means, look this movie up next time youre stumped on what to rent. I promise youll at least have a good laugh.
Like the movie? Try the soundtrack!
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