Edward Scissorhands movie cast: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Kathy Baker, Vincent Price, Alan Arkin
Edward Scissorhands movie director: Tim Burton
Edward Scissorhands movie rating: 3.5 stars
A modern fairy tale, a romantic drama, a story of an innocent outsider. There are many ways to label one of Tim Burton’s earlier works, Edward Scissorhands (1990). Starring a young Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder, the film was an instant commercial and critical success. It also ended up picking a handful of trophies during the awards season. However, these are not the reasons why the film has such a repeat viewing quality to it.
Its simple but layered script with a wonderful emotional core is the thing that I most remember about the Tim Burton directorial. It is also interesting to note that Edward Scissorhands was the first collaboration of Depp and Burton. In years to come, the two would work together on numerous projects, including the likes of Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, Charlie and the Chocolate Party, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Alice in Wonderland among more. Burton changed the image of Depp from a heartthrob to an actor with a penchant for eccentric characters. And that worked wonders for Depp. For a while at least. Burton always relied on Depp’s talent to bring to life a damaged, intelligent and charming personality. Safe to say this was a symbiotic relationship. But this collaboration’s first chapter was written with the rather sharp hands of Edward (the character Depp played in Edward Scissorhands).
For the uninitiated — the film centres around one lonesome and ‘artificial’ Edward, whose maker dies before he is able to attach hands to his creation’s body. Edward is left with scissors for hands and thus becomes Edward Scissorhands. He lives alone in a dilapidated mansion before he is adopted by a kindly lady and her family. Her daughter Kim (Winona Ryder) and Edward develop affection for each other, but the cruel world comes in between. This is the premise of the story, but the real joy is to watch the drama unfold on screen. The make-up of Edward, the creativity and possible dangers he and his scissors stand for, his emotional development, his humanity, and of course, the blossoming love story of Depp and Ryder’s characters. There is your fair bit of slightly-over-the-top drama, but you can hardly complain about that. This is, after all, a man with scissors for hands; things are bound to take an outlandish turn. While Burton is usually associated with grim scenarios and dark projects, this one is relatively a breeze. Its sweet naivety and pure kindness take its edge away, which, in this case, is not a bad thing at all.
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A word for the film’s uplifting, inspiring and ‘pretty’ score. Danny Elfman’s music worked in tandem with the mood of the film, which is of course how it should be. But the manner in which Elfman mirrored the mood of Edward and what he was feeling during a moment was masterful. So if you want to watch some old-fashioned fairy tale with a modern twist, this one is for you.
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