Edward Scissorhands, directed by Tim Burton in 1990 and featuring the very young Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder, is, for many, the masterpiece of this director. He has an excellent soundtrack, composed by Danny Elfman, who has since served as a reference in the field.
The aesthetics of the film Edward Scissorhands draws attentionfrom the credits with objects that are reminiscent of other works by the author, such asNightmare before Christmas (1993). The first images of the film show an old mansion dusty but also magic, warning us by the same as we enter the "universe of Tim Burton".
In the form of a tale, an almost fable, mixing fantasy and everyday life, Burton presents a film full of emotions and feelings. It brings to life a story in which two messages stand out: the importance of accepting differences and leaving aside prejudices .
Edward Scissorhands is a very personal story, highly autobiographical, although it is presented in a fanciful way.Burton himself has often spoken of the problems encountered in his childhood; indeed, he has always defined himself as solitary, and even "weird". Even his ex-wife, Helena Bonham Carter, recognized him as having some of the characteristics of Asperger Syndrome.
Edward Scissorhands, a story full of contrasts
Burton presents the film as thestory that an old woman tells her child–girl and, from there, we enter the whimsical. It all starts in a colorful neighborhood filled with gardens and detached houses. We do not find any car, door, or clothing that is black in color. Among all these colors stands, at the bottom and at the top of a hill, an old manor, practically in ruins; gray and black, whose appearance is very reminiscent of German expressionist cinema.
The first character we know is Peg, a mother of two, who works for the Avon cosmetics company. In a desperate attempt to sell his products,Peg decides to enter the mysterious mansion. Upon her arrival, she meets strange trees that have been sculpted by imitating animal and human forms.
The mansion, which seemed so dark from afar,has a beautiful and colorful garden totally unexpectedwhich serves as a prerequisite for the extraordinary inner world of the one who resides there. Music plays a fundamental role when Peg enters the mansion.
Peg certainly expected to meet something scary, weird; however,she finds herself in a magical and wonderful environment, with sculptures full of sensitivity. The mansion is completely neglected inside, filled with dust and cobwebs; some clippings stuck on a wall are highlighted, cuts on which we can read titles like "child born without eyes bed with his hands". Shortly after, we meet Edward, the strange resident, who has an unexpected peculiarity to the extent that, instead of hands, he has scissors.
From the beginning, Edward presents extreme innocence. He does this when he refers to his father saying that he "did not wake up", thus clearly referring to his ignorance of the world, of life and death.Peg, fascinated by the scars caused by scissors, decides to try on her cosmetics and invites her home.
From now on, we will observeall lEdward's difficulties in living in society, to distinguish between good and bad, the deep rejection he is initially subjected to by neighbors, and their fascination when they discover that they can benefit from his skills as a gardener and barber. The neighbors represent the unhealthy side of the human being, portraying a collective thought, and are the faithful reflection of how this idea changes according to the circumstances, so that their opinion on Edward is in no way personal, but collective.
Burton shows ushow difficult it is to be accepted when we are different from others. Edward awakens curiosity in some people, fear in others. We can observe how the neighbors are dedicated to commenting on everything that happens in the neighborhood, to spread rumors, to criticize Peg and his strange tenant.
Edward integrates very well into Peg's family, establishing a very good relationship with his young son and husband. However,when he meets Kim, their teenage daughter, some feelings wake up at Edward's house, but he is not able to express them. The relationship with Kim is difficult at first because of her prejudices, but over time she will see in Edward the person he really is and the big heart he has.
"-Kim: Hug me.
-Edward: I can not "
Edward begins to arouse admiration among neighbors for his qualities of hairdresser and gardener, his popularity increases, so much so that it is proposed to create a beauty salon. Edward and Peg attend as a guest on a television show where they explain Edward's case, and the audience makes comments and asks questions. It is curious to note at this moment thatwhen the different becomes an attraction, it generates fascination. Edward is no different, he is special.
"-Public: But if you had hands, you would be like any other person.
-Edward: Yes, I guess.
-Presentator: He would surely like.
-Public: Then no one would think you are special, you would not go on TV or be popular.
-Peg: Whatever happens, Edward will always be special "
What is "different" scares
The conflicts reappear when Edward agrees to help Kim and his boyfriend commit a criminal act: from that moment on we return the negation of what is different.Society begins to perceive it as a monster, like someone who must be eliminated because dangerous. The neighbors who admired his talent so much are now afraid, invent stories and want to see him dead.
Tim Burton makes a small wink that should be emphasized. This is a scene where Edward is pursued by the neighborhood, he is alone, everyone wants to see him dead … But a dog sits next to him, Edward cuts his bangs so that the animal can see better and the latter shows him his gratitude. This little moment is really magical. Burton shows us here how theprejudices are something unknown to animals, sometimes they can be more understanding than many people.
Burton presentsa character devoid of wickedness, with social problems because of having lived too long isolated because of his particular condition. Few see Edward as a good and innocent man. The manor is a reflection of this personality, with large, imposing and dark grids that serve as a shield to protect this magical garden full of sensitivity.
We've heard a lot about Burton and his possible Asperger's Syndrome, and it's hard to know for sure what was the childhood and life of the director. We can, however, appreciate some of the features of this syndrome in Edward's character, such as his clumsiness with his hands, his coping problems, and his deep inner world. Undoubtedly, Edward Scissorhands offers us a wonderful lesson of acceptance, teaches us not to be afraid of other sensibilities and to look deeper into people.
"Sometimes I dance again under the snow."
-Kim in Edward Scissorhands–