What happens if you’re a gentle, loving soul but also have scissors for hands? Tim Burton poses the question in a way that only Tim Burton can in Edward Scissorhands, starring Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Anthony Michael Hall.
Burton was in full flow in the 90s, off the back of the successful Beetlejuice and 1989 Batman, his visual and tonal style already well established with his unique form of storytelling really comes to the forefront in Edward Scissorhands, a very literal fantasy imagining of a sort of folkloric character in Edward, a very calm and kind individual with an unfortunate disfigurement.
And what a great performance from Depp, one of the best in his career as Edward, he really delves into character and inhabits Edwards’ psyche throughout bringing a really measured performance and showing the range that he has as an actor, meanwhile Winona Ridyer is also great as Kim, bringing an enthusiastic and emotional performance, this is easily one of Depps most iconic roles and deservedly so as he really disappears into character. I fondly remember the film because of how jovial it feels despite it having a rather dark premise and gothic themes, the odd tonal balance here really shouldn’t work but it does and the film, like Edward himself has more to it than you you would think at first. The music in the film is great and really highlights the emotional points both high and low points, matching with the scenarios Edward finds himself in, in relation to the towns people and his own mental state in a way.
The heart of the plot is a romance and a sort of forbidden relationship Romeo and Juliet style between Edward and Kim, with events following almost along the same lines and with the way Burton presents the plot, it almost comes across as modern fairy tale in its themes, style and tone. And the cinematography and style of the film is definitely one of its strong points, from the winter setting and abundance of snow which gives scenes a more serene feeling to the creative design and look of Edward himself, pale as snow and dressed all in balck, Burton is wonderfully creative here and crafts a film that doesn’t quite look like anything else aside another Burton film.
With Edwards inability to hold people or animals because of his hands, it results in rather tragic situations as people view him as a monster who’s out to harm and are intimidated by his appearance, the message here is pretty clear, don’t judge a book by its cover and there’s surprising depth in places you might not expect, but in the the film works, that message is conveyed in an engaging and well crafted story.
. Has some strong performances
. Striking visual style
. Interesting storytelling, feels like a fairy tale