When faced with the task of solving the labyrinth, Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) remarks that “it doesn’t look that far… doesn’t look that hard”. Similarly, when teenagers are presented with the opportunity to dwell in the real world, they think it is an easy task. Just paying bills, raising kids, and setting-up house. However, life is much more complicated.
Like with life, the labyrinth can appear to give you no breaks. However, it is “full of openings, it’s just you ain’t seeing them”. There are opportunities to change your path in life; you just have to look for the right place.
Even when Sarah tries a clever trick by leaving marks for herself, the labyrinth fights back. The labyrinth “keeps changing” to confuse and trick her.
Also, Sarah has to make choices, like in real life. She has to think critically and figure things out. Which door? Up or down? She has to make tough decisions quickly and live with the consequences.
There is also these obscure, unwritten “rules” many of the puppets refer to. Similarly, when working in the real world, we think people tell the truth and are good people because those are unspoken rules. However, even those rules are arbitrary at times.
Many times throughout Sarah’s journey through the labyrinth she says “it’s not fair”. She says it so much, even Jareth the Goblin King (David Bowie) takes note. However, many aspects of life are unfair. It is how we react to those disadvantages that determines how fruitful, happy, and fun the labyrinth/life can be.
When we are little, we think everyone has a plan and know exactly what they are doing in life. However, it is all ever-changing chaos, like the labyrinth. No one really knows the answer to everything.
On a happier note, we face many opportunities to make unlikely friends like Hoggle (Brian Henson), Ludo (Ron Mueck), and Didymus (Dave Goelz). We must embrace them because they can be helpful at the most unsuspecting times. Let’s just say, don’t underestimate a giant thing that speaks to rocks.
As I said, the labyrinth is a metaphor for real life. In the end, there really is no “solving” the labyrinth or life. We get along and do what we can to make the best of the chaos that is adulthood and independence from parents.
There is a Cracked analysis of Labyrinth being about masturbation. While a stretch, it is a different point of view.
If that does not spark your interest, female empowerment plays a role in this film as well.
If there is a movie you would like to analyzed, please leave a comment below! I am always looking for inspiration! Thank you for reading and see you next week.