Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Edward Scissorhands (1990) review

Film poster
Edward Scissorhands (1990) directed by Tim Burton is a fantasy film of a youth invention named Edward who becomes an outcast in the outside world after being taken in by a suburban family begins to fall in love with the daughter in the family.  The film stars Johnny Depp as Edward, Winona Ryder as Kim Boggs, and Vincent Price as Edward’s inventor and Dianne Wiest as Peg Boggs.
The mansion set on top of a dark hill
Edward, much in style of German Expressionism with pale face and dark, Gothic like clothing with Kim dressed most of the time in white similarly acts to The Beauty and the Beast which Edward resembling a monster and Kim who is the innocent. There are a lot of silhouettes, long shadows, low key lighting used to depict this “monster”. The German Expressionistic style is also used for the setting, where the town is brightly covered in suburban pastel colors with a dark, Gothic mansion set on the highest peak of a hill in the middle of the town. “In an entirely artificial world, where a haunting Gothic castle crouches on a mountaintop high above a storybook suburb, a goofy sitcom neighbourhood where all of the houses are shades of pastels and all of the inhabitants seem to be emotional clones of the Jetsons” (Ebert, 1990)

Just when Edward receives his hands, the inventor dies.

The film mostly focuses on being isolated, out casted from the normal world with gossips are a big thing in society. “Like most fairy tales, "Edward Scissorhands" has its dark side. And Burton's faithfulness to that aspect of myth seems reasonable enough, though it won't sit well with those who want happy endings. It begins, after all, as a tale about where snow comes from, and snow belongs to the saddest season.” (Kempley, 1999)
Though from time to time, the film goes back onto Edward’s flashback of how he came to be who he is now as well as when he is near completion apart from the hands, which in its place are scissor-like mechanisms. Initially the scissor hands were temporary but this became a burden to Edward when receiving his hands just the moment when his inventor collapses and dies.
Edward trying to fit in to the suburban society
The film was successful in terms of plot and design along with actors suiting the roles well which brings the emotions of how two characters who fall in love with each other but are fated to live their own separate lives, with one being in reality and the other’s life being as a “myth”.  “A modern fairy tale in the realm of what has come to be called "Burtonesque"; Edward Scissorhands is bright, colourful, and dark all at the same time. Edward, like any good monster, is both supremely deadly and an object of pity. His deathly potential is only kept in check by the kindness of his heart.” (McMullen, 2002)
List of Illustrations:

Burton, T (1990) Film Poster (online):

Burton,T (1990) The mansion set on top of a dark hill (online):

 Burton, T (1990) Just when Edward recieves his hands, the inventor dies. (online):
http://www.thesoundofvincentprice.com/edward.html - (accessed on 20/11/11)

Gabrielle, K (2011) Edward trying to fit in to the suburban society (online):
 http://scathingly-brilliant.blogspot.com/2011/03/style-idol-ladies-of-edward.html - (accessed on 20/11/11)

Bibliography:

Ebert, R (1990) Edward Scissorhands (online):
Kempley, R (1999) Edward Scissorhands’ (online):
McMullen, E.C. Jr. (2002) EDWARD SCISSORHANDS – 1990 (online):


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