If you had to think of a live action fairy tale movie that seamlessly connected a modern setting with a tried and true fairy storyline you can’t get much better than 1990’s Edward Scissorhands. It was directed by none other than Tim Burton and is romantic gothic romance. It’s sort of a Beauty and the beast, Pinocchio, Hunchback tale.
It’s a cult classic and is considered by many to one of Burton better movies but how does it hold up?
The plot is fairly simple and straightforward and I assume everyone pretty knows it at this point but here it is. Avon rep, Peg Boggs one day goes to a creepy mansion high up on a hill. There she meets a young man named Edward who has scissors for hands. Edward becomes the hot topic of all the bored suburban housewives. Edward is also shown to be a very creative person as he makes lovely whimsical topiaries and gives imaginative hair cuts to the women and their dogs. Edward develops a interest in Peg’s daughter Kim.
Things are going great for Edward till one of the housewives, Joyce, tries to put the moves on him. Edward, in his innocents is confuses and walks out but Joyce lies and says he tried to rape her. Things get even worse when Kim’s jerk-face boyfriend, Jim, gets Edward to break into his own house. Edward knew it was Jim’s house but it for Kim. As a result the Bogg’s are outcast of the neighborhood.
On the night of the Bogg’s annual Christmas party Jim and his buddy get drunk and go the Bogg’s house. They nearly run over Kim’s brother, Kevin. Edward saves him but it looked to the close-minded suburbanites that Edward was attacking the boy. Kim tells Edward to run. He goes back up to the mansion. Kim follows as does Jim. Jim tries to fight Edward and as Jim knocks Kim to the floor Edwards punches Jim through the chest killing him. Kim then lies to the suburbanites that Edward and Jim killed each other in hopes that they will leave the mansion allow.
The movie end with Kim as an old woman telling her grand-daughter that the reason why there is snow is because Edward is carving his ice up at the mansion.
The plot is simple but in its simplicity it tells a very nice yet deep tale or acceptance and prejudice. That being said the plot is one of the weaker aspects of this movie. Not saying ti’s not good or heartfelt but given the other aspects of the movie it weakest. The Premise is good and imaginative as is the juxtaposition of the bright yet fake suburbanites against the innocent monochromatic Edward. Having the simple beauty and the beast tale was a good move but it a little too on the nose.
Like the plot the characters are presented simply and yet the are fairly complex. The only character that is dynamic in that they change is Kim. She starts out not really liking Edward that much to falling in love. Edward is probably the most interesting character, as he looks weird with his weapon hands but is all sweetness and innocence but can’t touch things with out destroying them even if it’s transformative, making him compelling.
The Suburban jerks are all jerks but you’re not meant to like them. Only the Boggs are cool.
One of the things that is great about this movie is the way Burton uses pale pastel colors to make Edward pop against the colors. It just adds a level of whimsy to the look of this movie.
One of the best aspects of this movie is the music. It was done by Danny Elfman. Who does get all misty eyes when they hear Ice Dance? The whole score of the movie is just lovely and fits the tone perfectly while adding that whimsical bittersweetness.
Edward Scissorhands is a perfect example of combining classic fairy tropes with a modern setting. It’s magical and quite Bittersweet. It’s also a great Chirstmas movie.
Just a side note these Live Action Fairy Tale reviews are wrapping up this month, only three left.Follow thehunchblog