A man-made boy with scissors for hands and an unconventional fairytale; Edward Scissorhands could only have emerged from the weird and wacky mind of legendary cult director and auteur, Tim Burton.
The narrative is based on one that we all know so well: Boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl but, girl is in love with somebody else. Only this is no ordinary boy as Edward has lethal weapons instead of hands and comes from an old gothic castle atop a hill, where he lives in isolation.
Edward is played by Johnny Depp (A Nightmare On Elm Street, Cry-Baby) and his portrayal of the outcast is spectacular. There is little dialogue for Depp and so like a silent movie actor, he conveys all of his feelings with facial expressions and the emotion in his eyes is intense. His heart-warming representation of societyÃ¢Â€Â™s outsider reaches out to anyone who ever felt different as a teenager. Alongside the beautiful Winona Ryder (Beetle Juice) as Kim Boggs, Depp is the epitome of freakish; yet the on-screen couple are strangely cute together. Perhaps their wonderful on-screen chemistry emanates from the off-screen relationship that the two stars were having at the time the film was in production.
Edward is rescued from his lonely life by an unlikely heroine. Avon lady Pegg Boggs played by Diane Wiest (The Lost Boys, Footloose) finds Edward physically and mentally scarred and living alone and so she decides to take him back to suburbia with her. Before life with the Boggs family Edward had no contact with the outside world. We are presented with flashbacks of his life with his father and inventor throughout the film; some of these reminiscent scenes are extremely touching as we discover that the inventor died before Edward was finished
BurtonÃ¢Â€Â™s take on American suburbia is extremely clever and witty. The pastel-coloured houses and over-the-top personalities that live in them provide an un-mistakable contrast to EdwardÃ¢Â€Â™s appearance and his castle, which emphasises his status as societyÃ¢Â€Â™s outsider to the audience.
The film is packed with amusing moments as Edward fails to grasp the concept of suburbia and the references the residents make. Perhaps some of the most laugh-out-loud moments are when Edward tries to understand the waterbed, punctures it and then stems the flow of water with one of KimÃ¢Â€Â™s teddies or when he persistently tries to pick up a single pea from his dinner plate with his scissors. The expression on his face during these sequences is priceless. EdwardsÃ¢Â€Â™s child-like innocence in scenes like these is endearing.
Composer Danny Elfman adds a sprinkle of magic to the narrative as his beautiful music creates a perfect atmosphere for each scene. The most powerful example that conveys the sheer brilliance that can be achieved when Burton and Elfman put their heads together is the aesthetically pleasing ice-angel sculpture sequence. The slow camera movements as Edward sculpts the ice-angel and Kim dances in the snow, combined with the hypnotising music creates a moving sequence worthy of being remembered in cinema history.
Burton capsizes the audienceÃ¢Â€Â™s expectations of a fairytale narrative in the final few scenes. We expect a conventional happy ending as Kim realises she loves Edward but, itÃ¢Â€Â™s clear everything wonÃ¢Â€Â™t be chocolates and flowers as Kim says Ã¢Â€ÂœHold meÃ¢Â€Â and Edward replies Ã¢Â€ÂœI canÃ¢Â€Â™t.Ã¢Â€Â The story then takes an emotional twist and many audience members will be left teary eyed.
All-in-all, Edward Scissorhands is a wonderful film for all the family and will go down in history as one of BurtonÃ¢Â€Â™s greats!