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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Space Oddities : Edward Scissorhands Film Review

One of Tim Burton’s earliest and most successful films, Edward Scissorhands is a Beauty and the Beast modernized film where the main character Edward falls in love with Kim; the daughter of the family who he is staying with. The Beauty and the Beast plot takes a darker turn which causes the audience to realize that despite ones appearance those who may seem completely normal may be the monsters. Unfortunately for Edward, the monsters swarm and the film turns to a sad ending which tears the hearts out from the audience. 

The film takes place in a capitalist world where a Gothic mansion sits upon a hill towering over a sweet colourful town. Immediately Burton plays with the audiences mind believing that the danger is on that hill, where the audience screams to not go in to one of the main characters: Peg. Because of the horror clichĂ© that darkness is related to evil, immediately there is the thought that whatever lives within the house is going to kill her. Slowly the thought drifts away as the gardens within the area reveal beautiful trimmings of plants, not of destructive figures, but animals and figures which fight against the overpowering doom impending house which is accompanying the garden. 

The colours and set design also tell the audience about the characters themselves. Where although those inside the town are the same, which implies they are the `norm` and not being entirely unique. There is also a hint as the film continues that the colourful embracing town where everyone is a bright colour of some sort means that they are all monsters. Despite the darkness, Edward is hinted to be rather monotone in colour scheme and personality. Where the first is shown of him is black and white and Peg who is the hint of colour enters the household and brings a meaning and spark of ‘joy’ into his life. (The Joy being represented by her brightly clothed appearance). Also throughout the film , hints of skin colour show through the paleness which shows the more time he spends with the family and in the town the more human and ‘normal’ he gets : and also the more monstrous. 

Roger Ebert states that the ending could have been more successful where he says: “Then Burton and his writer,Caroline Thomson, go on autopilot and paste in a standard Hollywood ending.” Ebert, 1990. With a film as unique as Edward Scissorhands, the ending was fairy tale like, however, when comparing this film to one such as Beauty and the Beast there is a sense that the audience knows he is going to receive the love of the girl. Which can be quite heartfelt, however, the quick change of pace at the end felt rushed where maybe Burton wanted the grief to be quick and the entrance to Edwards dark domain and away from the colour clone world gave them hearts and brains to realize that their actions ended with two deaths. One being a neighbourhood bully, the other being an innocent who didn`t understand their ways.

Overall Edward Scissorhands was a beautifully crafted film where the set & character design was thought out well to the point of deceiving the norm. Despite the plot holes, Burton could have added more to the ending instead of leaving the audience to recover from the terrible fact that the couple were torn apart. For some this may be a turn off because the charm seems ripped apart from this film where the whimsical comedy relief in the film gets reduced to murder. Yet some also think the logic of the ending tears away from the character of Edward, for example “I'm sure that after a couple decades or so, the town's lynch-mob mentality would wear off, and Edward would be able to return if he wanted to.” Zanzie, 2015. This could also go with how time develops and how the arrogant nature of the towns folk where they have lots of money because of the war wears off. When money troubles erupt and they come down to Earth and become more rounded people who are more understanding of people’s problems. Zanzie also continues with “He has been established in previous scenes as a sad and lonely creature who values friendship and a family, so to assume that he'd spend eternity up in that castle, alone, carving his ice sculptures without a care in the world, is absurd.” Zanzie,2015. Proving the statement of how people perceive the ending of this films logic as out of place and lacklustre.

Bibliography :

Ebert,R(1990)Edward Scissorhands :

Zanzie,A(2015) Edward Scissorhands (Comments section) :

Fig 1, An Image of Edward and His Love Interest (2001) [Poster]

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sarah,

    You have discussed some interesting ideas here :)
    A couple of housekeeping points - Don't forget to include the year of the film the first time you mention it, and the film title should be in italics each time. Your reference after the quote should be in brackets.

    Be aware of the sources you are drawing from; you have included quotes here from 'Zanzie', which were taken from the comments section of a recognised film reviewer, Roger Ebert. You should really stick to the reviewer themselves, as the comments could have been made by any Tom, Dick or Harry, who may know nothing at all about film...
    You should also include some more images - this review is crying out for an image of the castle overlooking the pastel town! It is a way of enhancing your discussion, and making it easier for your reader to visualise what you are writing about.