I did not re-watch Labyrinth under the best of circumstances last night. I’ve been wanting to re-watch it again, but haven’t had the chance, and last night was not how I ideally would have liked to revisited it. It’s a college campus, alcohol was involved. It was past 2:00am when we started the movie. I was in a hammock. It could have been better. I have to admit that I did nod off a couple of times, but that wasn’t because of the film.
Labyrinth still holds up for me though. I mean it’s David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly. Hard not to like the movie for that reason alone, especially when you throw in that the Henson Creature Shop was involved. That’s as good a place to start as any. Most people think of the Muppets or Sesame Street when they think of Henson’s creations. No problem with that, but most of what he’s created puppet wise is in a different style. They aren’t quite that cute. I mean SNL featured Henson in the early days and while those puppets where a bit more comical, they weren’t pretty. They weren’t as grotesque as some though. Dreamchild still has some of the creepiest puppets of his. Labyrinth features a bit of mix style wise. They all look really good, but some are creepier and more grotesque than others.
Bowie. I love Bowie. Jareth is an odd character. I know a lot of people will look at him and immediately think he’s a creepy pedophile. I get that. It’s how our society is. Natural to go there. I mean it doesn’t help that they put the tightest possible pants on Bowie so that his bulge is as large as some of the puppets. The movie is a coming of age story though and Bowie as Jareth works perfectly for that. His acting however, is kinda meh. He didn’t do much and for someone who can give emotional performances while singing, I was hopping for at least that.
Going with the story though. There is some depth to the film. There is the coming fo age story, sexual awakening and whatnot. Quite a bit of allusions to others works and some nifty symbolism, but it doesn’t really hold up. It was more prevalent to me watching it again now, but it still feels sort of flimsy. I don’t feel like it developed much. The plot as a whole was kind of meh (I’m using that too often). As entertained as I was, I wasn’t captivated the whole time. It got dull. Bowie’s appeal sort of waned and Connelly started to get annoying. The puppets were cool, but Hoggle just got annoying. It didn’t have enough juice for me, but that could also have been outside reasons mentioned earlier.
I still like the film, though it seems less glamorous than I remember. I feel like some of the puppets might be frightening to some children as well. Dunno, kind of a mixed bag of thoughts on this. I’ll try to actually revisit it sometime soon and see if anything changes under better circumstances
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