Monday, February 13, 2012

155 - Edward Scissorhands (1990)

DVD Box
An Avon lady finds an incomplete creation and tries to integrate him into a clockwork society.

Edward (Johnny Depp) has been living alone after his creator didn't manage to finish him - leaving him with scissors for hands. When Peg (Dianne Wiest), a makeup salesperson, finds him she invites him back to her home.

Although initially wary of him, the townsfolk welcome him for his ease of carrying out various cutting jobs from topiary to hairdressing. Things turn sour, however, when Peg's daughter, Kim (Winona Ryder), takes a shine to him, much to the disgust of her boyfriend (Anthony Michael Hall).

Theatrical Poster
Source: Wikipedia
Despite being only his second big film (after Batman), Tim Burton set down exactly what he was about with this original fairy tale. He would later work with Johnny Depp on a number of films (including, bizarrely, another where Depp would don a pair of scissors), but this is where their partnership took off.

Arguably, the film's biggest influence is Mary Shelley's Frankenstein which also features an outcast monster who is misunderstood. Both protagonists have the capacity of violence, but would prefer to learn more about the world they have been created into.

The storyline is typically Tim Burton. It is slightly odd and told in such a way that they audience is completely out of their comfort zone by being transported to a dystopia that is difficult to relate to. By the time the film finishes though, you'll be wondering why the real world isn't created in six different block colours.

Considering the restrictions of having to portray an unfinished character, Depp is simply outstanding in the role. His pathetic, almost clockwork walk fits perfectly into a society that Burton created to work in the same manner. Despite being almost exclusively emotionless, Depp can still get across humour, love, fear and anger as if it is completely natural.

A weird fairytale that shouldn't work, but does. Must be Tim Burton, then.

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