Saturday, 29 June 2013

Film Review: Labyrinth

As I mentioned last week, we picked up The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth on blu-ray, mainly because I was feeling nostalgic. Growing up I was a bigger fan of The Dark Crystal than Labyrinth, but I think that Labyrinth is probably the better known of the two. It's sort of become one of those cult films which is kind of timeless (if you don't concentrate too heavily on the eighties hair and music).

It tells the story of Sarah, a girl who lives for the fairy tales and fantasies of her books, who lives with her father, step-mother and step-brother. If you read into the backstory of the film, her mother was an actress who ran off with one of the men she was working with (look at the beginning of the film and you can see some scrapbook pages and photos of her mother with Jareth/the actor). On the night of Labyrinth, Sarah has been left home to look after Toby, her baby brother, she's feeling put upon and tells the screaming baby that she wishes the goblins would come and take him away.

Unfortunately, that's exactly what happens. David Bowie shows up and waves his magic balls under her nose before spiriting her brother away. Sarah realises that she has to get her brother back and will have to travel through the Labyrinth to find her baby brother at Goblin City. She's working against the clock though and if she doesn't making it in time, her brother will stay there as one of them. Along the way she makes friends in Hoggle, Ludo and Didymus, and finds that nothing in the Labyrinth is quite as it seems.

I feel like each time I watch this film I spot something else. We watched this film twice within about four weeks and by the second time I was remembering things that I had forgotten to look out for during the first go around. It's fun to spot things in Sarah's room at the beginning which crop up throughout the rest of the film; you can see an Escher picture pinned beside her bed which is the same as the staircases at the end of the film, there's cuddly toys of Sir Didymus and Ludo, a music box with a doll wearing Sarah's dress, I could go on and on.

There's also hidden faces throughout the film. The first time we watched it I forgot to look for them until I spotted the really obvious one, so the second time we watched it I made a point of looking out for them. I think I caught them all.

I love reading all the little facts and things online about the making of the film. I'm yet to watch the special features on the blu-ray, but I expect there'll be loads of interesting things to learn on there. It's little things like the fact that the baby is called Toby because that's his name (and he's the conceptual designer's son) and he wouldn't respond to anything else; or the fact that the magic tricks that Jareth does with the glass balls were actually done by a specialist who was behind David Bowie in most of the scenes so not only was he doing these fantastic tricks - he was doing them without being able to see what he was doing.

The cast is fantastic. A very young Jennifer Connelly plays Sarah, and of course David Bowie plays Jareth, then you've got a huge cast of puppets of various shapes and sizes. The Labyrinth itself is almost a character as well, it's certainly got a mind of its own and is full of talking statues and creepy 'helping' hands.

And then there's the music. The soundtrack isn't exactly expensive on Amazon so I'm promising myself it when I've finished buying other essentials like my new Kindle Fire, cases and accessories for it (not to mention all the knitting books I've got my eye on). I think the music really adds something to the film. It's all part of the zany, strange world and I think the songs help to make it feel all familiar, so you can watch it again and again and again.

Oh, and this one has to be my favourite:


  1. Love this film, watched it at the cinema when I was little and I grew up to be a huge Bowie fan anyway, so it's a win win.

    And yeah that's my favourite of the songs too

    "David Bowie shows up and waves his magic balls under her nose"


    1. I'm so glad I have it on blu-ray now, I have a feeling we're going to be watching it over and over.

      I've got a David Bowie greatest hits album but unfortunately none of the songs from Labyrinth are on that. Going to have to treat myself at some point I think. ;-)

      And yeah, just telling it like it is. ;-p


Let me know what you think. :-)