Labyrinth puzzles viewers, music carries plot

Dania Robinson

Some musicals have pretty cheesy story lines but a strong soundtrack can make the movie bearable. The Labyrinth is an 80s movie that fits that description. It’s a great example of how the music can overshadow the story line.

Starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly, Labyrinth is about a 15-year-old girl named Sarah who has to babysit her step-brother Toby every Saturday night. She accidentally wishes Toby away to Jareth, the Goblin King, who will keep him unless Sarah can solve the labyrinth in 13 hours.

In the labyrinth, Sarah meets Hoggle; an unreliable yet amiable gnome who guides her through the tricks and puzzles of the maze. Along the way, Jareth adds complications to the journey as Sarah and Hoggle get closer to completing the maze. Sarah is then drugged by a poisoned peach from Jareth and nearly loses herself. She eventually recovers her senses and reaches the center of the labyrinth which is Goblin City. She retrieves Toby from Jareth and returns home.

Overall, the movie was boring and lengthy. Most of the time was spent walking around the labyrinth not doing anything. I expected it to be a fun and exciting movie since it was originally aimed at children, but it wasn’t.

The 80s lacked great actors and it definitely showed in this musical. When Sarah’s brother is taken away by Jareth, she hardly showed any emotion. She was a little one dimensional. The other characters were quirky and silly, like most 80s movies, lacking depth and character development.

In the end, Sarah’s parents come home while she’s in her room looking in her mirror and she says that she’s going to miss all the friends she made in the labyrinth. Then, her friends pop up and say that if she ever needs them to just call. I thought it was a good way to end the movie, but it was also very cheesy.

The only thing that kept me from turning off the TV was knowing that David Bowie would be performing. David Bowie is known for extravagant images and the glam super-starship of the early seventies. His singing and dancing which was rock with an electric edge, added a lot more spark to the movie.
I really enjoyed the music because it added more to the story and it portrayed the actor’s feelings more than the actual acting. It gave more background information of what the Goblin King had done with children in the past and foreshadowed what might happen next to Sarah in the labyrinth.

In the first music scene, he sang about turning her brother into a goblin if she didn’t complete the Labyrinth increasing the suspense while he was dancing with the baby that he took from Sarah. In another scene, Bowie is singing about how Sarah would never be able to make her way through the labyrinth since no one else could. This scene was both depressing and motivational for Sarah as she attempted to make her way to the center.

Even though the acting wasn’t good, the music compensated, making it bearable. If you’re looking for a different style of movie to watch, I would definitely recommend the Labyrinth, but keep in mind that it is a movie aimed at children, so though Bowie carries the movie with his music, the cheesy plot still exists.