Into the Labyrinth
Into the Labyrinth boasts Dustin Hoffman and Toni Servillo as its leads, and it has an intriguing plot, so it will doubtless attract many viewers. Unfortunately, the huge potential does not live up to expectations. The film is directed by Donato Carrisi, who is also author of the novel that the screenplay is based on. There is a strong focus on aesthetics, but the ambitious and intricate plot suffers from one twist too many. The movie is performed in Italian, with Hoffman’s scenes alone done in English.
The story is of a girl kidnapped at the age of 13, who mysteriously reappears 15 years later. She is found in a state of shock, unable to recount what happened to her. Dr Green (Dustin Hoffman) is brought in to help her reconstruct her traumatic experience, and it transpires that she was locked in an underground labyrinth where she had to engage in a solitary game in return for food and other essentials. Private investigator Bruno Genko (Toni Servillo) is also working on the case by trying to identify and catch her kidnapper. Genko has a serious heart condition that could take him away at any moment, so he is fighting against time to resolve the mystery successfully.
The strong leads do elevate the scope of Into the Labyrinth, but their contribution is not enough to uphold a disorderly plot that is simply too cluttered with all kinds of elements. The result seems to be a patchwork of symbols and devices borrowed from classic thrillers and horrors, and it groups so many of these incongruous pieces together that it sometimes forgets to follow them through. For instance, there are two or three hints that supernatural powers are at play, but this aspect is dropped completely and inexplicably. The main trail that Genko follows for the greater part of the narrative is put to one side in favour of another twist, and seemingly forgotten about rather than woven into the final revelation.
Aside from a chaotic plot that leaves too many ends loose, what lets the film down is also the way it resorts to clichés – not just in the content, but also in the script, which often resorts to stereotypical tones and phrases associated with the genre that sound too much like spoof material. While it does have its moments of intrigue, Into the Labyrinth is ultimately overdone and unoriginal.
Into the Labyrinth is released digitally on demand on 19th April 2021.
Watch the trailer for Into the Labyrinth here: