by Bret W.
Tim Burton is one of my favorite directors. I love what he’s done for American pop icons such as Batman and Pee-Wee Herman over the years. In Edward Scissorhands, he stretches his chops in a typically Burtonesque world, somewhere between reality and nightmare, to bring us a new twist on an old story (Beauty and the Beast).
But there are many differences between this story and its fairy tale counterpart. The Beast was a prince cursed by a witch to become a horrible creature. Edward was conceived out of love by an eccentric inventor and candymaker. Belle, the beauty in Beauty and the Beast, was held captive in the Beast’s castle. Edward was taken out of his castle and held as a willing captive in the home of the girl he loved. But no matter how you slice it (sorry, I couldn’t resist!), Edward Scissorhands is a beautiful and warm love story and a heartwarming and disturbing film about human nature.
As I said before, I’m very fond of Tim Burton and the films he makes. He teams up well with composer Danny Elfman. Danny’s twisted and nightmarish melodies help to cast an eerie shadow on the film, and Burton’s direction and cinematography does the rest to make this a very moving film. The cast is very good, with Johnny Depp in the title role, fair Wynonna Ryder as the object of his affection, and Anthony Michael Hall is very convincing as the bullying boyfriend who turns the town against Edward. Great supporting efforts by Alan Arkin, whom I like in everything he does, and Dianne Wiest, along with the entire cast of characters from the little village at the foot of the castle grounds. And what can one say about Vincent Price in his final role? He’s spooky just to look at, and perfect in the role of the inventor who brings Edward to life.
Again, much should be said about Burton’s eye for detail. The costuming and the set architecture cast a very 70’s look on the town, although it was still apparent that the time frame was supposed to be modern. Later, when Wynonna was telling the story to her grandchildren, the effect was even more convincing. Burton has a flair for the macabre, and this is definitely one of his darker films.
All around, I have to say that Edward Scissorhands is a very good film and a very entertaining one at that. All the elements combine to make it an excellent story-telling. A new twist on an old story indeed, Edward Scisorhands is a film worth watching again and again.