Fig.1 Movie Poster
Edward Scissorhands is a wonderful story that at its core is about acceptance of everybody even those who would at first seem to threaten a very monotonous life style. The movie follows an eventful section of the life of a person created by a lonely professor. The person in question is called Edward and as you may have guessed, in place of hands he had scissors. It is later explained that Edward's lack of hands can be associated with the inventor who created him, dying before he finished him. Edward, as a result of this, lives in the inventors old house, that is on top of a hill overlooking a dull suburb, by himself for many years. During this time he becomes accustomed to his bladed hands and becomes quite the artist, shaping and trimming the hedges in the grounds. “At the far end of a suburban enclave, where the houses huddle together like a candy-colored wagon train, there stands a monument to lonely genius.” (Maslin, 1990) We can take two things from this, either it is directly referencing the inventor and his ability to make a convincing sentient man and that for of genius or we are looking at Edward himself being on top of the hill and how he in a sense is a genius with his quirky ideas and his innocence to the 'civilized' world, which of course doesn't make him less evolved but rather more open minded. Edward's perception of the world while seeming alien and scary to some, particularly those within the suburban community could also be considered genius and artistic by others.
Fig 2. The Mansion
Taking on that idea, that Edward is an artistic genius, we could go on to further say that it is this genius that people don't understand that makes him truly special. Edward Scissorhands has strong messages as a film that creative people are often outcasts and perhaps question or don't understand why people live and behave the way they do and Burton pushes that idea and personifies it as Edward. It seems as if though Burton is expressing his own experiences through this film because Edward seems so relatable as a character to anyone who feels like an outcast. “Tim Burton showed what he could do when he developed a project of his own. The result is this sweet 1990 fantasy that for the first time crystallized the latent themes in the director’s work: the notion of the artist as outsider, of skills that make one special but at the same time different.” (Blodrowski, 2000) What Blodrowski is pointing at here is that the idea if someone creative being an outsider is a recurring theme in Burton's work and that is because the outsiders have the most special and interesting stories to follow.
Fig.3 Edward in Kim's Room
After Edward is bought down from the hill he had been residing on and dragged into the suburban community the immediate reaction the audience has is that he doesn't belong there. He is out of place and out of his world. The significance of this is that most of us have felt like that once or twice, new schools, moving across the country and we arrive at a place where we don't really fit in. “The main thrust of the fable is exposing the exotic gentle freak to the boring middle-class suburbs and seeing how they relate to each other, with the monster being the sympathetic innocent and society being the one to fear because of its evil nature.” (Schwarz, 2008) Edward in our eyes is seen as a victim because as viewers we establish a special bond with him and we find ourselves relating to him. The citizens of the town however find him to be at first an exotic fantasy and then an evil monster after his presence leads to a chain of unfortunate happenings. From this we can take the idea that Burton was trying to portray the idea that people are scared of change and excited of change but if something bad happens they will blame it on what they don't fully understand. Taking that onboard this movie is Burton's microcosm representation of society as whole. People get into a repetitive, monotonous scheme of fulfilling their everyday tasks and at first are excited at the prospect of new things and get scared or angry if it ever challenges their life style.
Fig 4. Edward and the Police
All in all I think we can all agree that Edward Scissorhands is a wonderful movie all around, with fantastic acting from Depp and Ryder, glorious set design that helps portray the themes in story and a great musical score that really sets the scene. Tim Burton really did create a classic movie that will be remembered.
Blodrowski. S (2000) Cinefantastique, At:http://cinefantastiqueonline.com/2000/10/edward-scissorhands-tim-burtons-elephant-man/ (Accessed On: 25/11/14)
Maslin. J (1990) New York Times, At:http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9C0CE2D81338F934A35751C1A966958260&partner=Rotten%2520Tomatoes (Accessed On: 25/11/14)
Schwarz. D (2008) Ozus' World, At:http://homepages.sover.net/~ozus/edwardscissorhands.htm (Accessed On: 25/11/24)
Fig 1. Movie Poster (1990) From: Edward Scissorhands. Directed by: Burton. T [Poster] From America. At: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/3b/Edwardscissorhandsposter.JPG (Accessed on 26/11/14)
Fig 2. The Mansion (1990) From: Edward Scissorhands. Directed by: Burton. T [Movie Still] From America. At: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-eiho5HIthBc/U4HzULuHZ7I/AAAAAAAAEQU/bCZNE4xVm7Q/s1600/edward_scissorhands_hill.png (Accessed on 26/11/14)
Fig 3. Edward in Kim's Room (1990) From: Edward Scissorhands. Directed by: Burton. T [Movie Still] From America. At:http://images5.fanpop.com/image/photos/31900000/edward-edward-scissorhands-31985249-1920-1080.jpg (Accessed on 26/11/14)
Fig 4. Edward and the Police (1990) From: Edward Scissorhands. Directed by: Burton. T [Movie Still] From America. At:http://dejareviewer.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/the-policeman-cares-about-edwards-well-being.jpg (Accessed on 26/11/14)