Top critical review
10 people found this helpful
on 25 July 2007
I must admit I only marginally enjoyed 'Labyrinth of Passion'. It definitely lacks the style and vibrance of most of Almodovar's work; and also seemed to have a slightly confusing plot. The plotline did get better as the film went on and the acting was very good from Cecelia Roth, Imanol Arias and Antonio Banderas. There was also an appearance by Almodovar as a drag queen performing at a music concert! Having said that, the music throughtout was quite cool and I recognised a number of the songs from 'La Caciones de Almodovar'. Sexi (Roth) is a nymphomaniac and has had a phobia of daylight since childhood; Riza (Arias) is the heir to the throne of a Central American country, though he's taking some time out in Madrid to cruise the bars and gay haunts. At a music concert where Sexi is due to perform, a member of a band falls down some stairs and Riza takes his place as the singer. Sexi sees Riza there and from then on, the two of them can't stop thinking about each other. A trio of would-be kidnappers, seeking Riza, include Banderas' character and are relying on his extraordinary sense of smell to track the heir - Banderas' character has unknowingly had an encounter with Riza, loves the men he met and can only smell the person he loves; he realises his love and victim are one and the same.
Despite some good performances, the film was impossible to take seriously, with some elements quite far-fetched and implausible; but at the same time it wasn't actually that funny. There was lots of humour in it, but it was overshadowed. There was also a seriously underdeveloped sub-plot of Banderas' character's love for Arias' 'Riza'. The first half hour is actually a little boring but if you like Almodovar's work, its probably worth sticking with it just to have seen it.