The Labyrinth Quote-Along is coming soon! Get your tickets here!
“It’s not fair” has been a phrase that has unnerved me much of my life. The fact that things in this world are rarely fair is a concept that was learned very early on for me, but that doesn’t mean that Labyrinth and Jennifer Connelly’s Sarah didn’t have a huge impact both growing up and today. Sarah’s big revelation stuck with me (and countless other young women) and the moment wouldn’t have had the power it did if the film didn’t kick things off with a whiny, entitled teenager.
The phrase “it’s not fair” has set me off since childhood because I grew up in an abusive household. Though The Labyrinth came out several years before I was born, I didn’t see it until I was about sixteen. So, there I was, an angry, hate-the-world teen sitting in on a test screening in a theater I worked at, excited to see just what all the hype surrounding the movie was about. (Outside of David Bowie, of course. That one’s obvious.) Almost the first thing I see is this whiny brat stomping her feet because she has to babysit. Uh, cry me a river, Sarah? You don’t have problems.
Then, shortly after this tantrum, she got some problems, but they were all of her own doing. Bye, bye, baby, hello Goblin King! As Sarah continued her adventure through the Labyrinth I stopped paying so much attention to her and kept my focus on the magic and hijinks that were happening around her. After stumbling around, making new friends, and fighting a few battles, we reach her final moments with Jareth.
It’s strange how a well-placed line with a solid delivery can flip your opinion of a movie on its side. The Film was stunning, of course, and the supporting characters were both fun and fascinating. But man, I hated Sarah. I hated Sarah because at that point in my life, I was too stupid to realize that you were supposed to hate her. And then we were in the final moments, and that line all of you know I have been building up to happened:
“Through dangers untold. And hardships unnumbered. I have fought my way here to the castle; beyond the Goblin City, to take back the child that you have stolen. My will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom as great... You have no power over me!”
Something in my brain snapped. I realized I was almost done. I realized that I had survived 16 years of it and only had a couple more. My will was as strong as theirs, and my kingdom as great, and they had no power over me.
Art is created to make people feel things. It’s there to take you out of reality for a moment and into a world of your own making. The Goblin King was defeated, but his magic remained. Things weren’t great, but when they got truly bad I would remind myself of “you have no power over me”.
As a matter of fact, the mantra remains in the back of my mind when things get rough to this day. It’s easy to get bogged down, especially in today’s political climate, but sometimes you have to look at the situation and wonder if it will matter in a week, a month, or a year. Sometimes it will, other times it won’t, but at the end of the day, you have fought your way to the castle beyond the goblin city. Your will is as strong as theirs, and your kingdom as great. And they have no power over you.
I hope if you've got a favorite memory from Labyrinth you'll share in the comments, and that you'll join the Alamo Drafthouse for its Quote-Along!