Two stories, on two banks of the Tagus River, that are perhaps not as disconnected as they seem at first glance.
The title is, in itself, an enigma: Rio simultaneously refers to the river [rio] Tagus, with which the film opens, and to Rio de Janeiro, where the main characters come from; the Labyrinth, in turn, refers to the amorous mismatches provided by the urban network of alleys and lanes and to the narrative structure of the film itself, anachronistic, fragmentary and tangled. The tragic beauty of an ordinary love story is elevated through a game in which the spectator is forced to tie up the loose ends, an exercise that is as playful as it is disturbing. Confusion sets in, uncertainty about the order and place of things also, and, sneakily, everything is clarified in a gaze; a gaze haunted by pain. After all, beneath the jovial colloquiality of a coffee conversation, a phantasmatic malaise brews. (Ricardo Vieira Lisboa)