I am a part of the generation born between EDSA1 and the beginning of Backstreet Boys. And if there are two names a young Filipina would likely scream today, it’s either “Papa Piolo!” and “Edward!”. The later, without a doubt, would only refer to that sick-looking vampire Edward Cullen (played Robert Pattinson) in the Twilight saga. My generation were too young to appreciate that there is another famous Edward in Hollywood. His name is Edward Scissorhands, a character portrayed by Johnny Depp in the 1990 film by Tim Burton.
Its been twenty years since this film was released. But I only watched it last year when I had the courage and curiosity to check it out. When I was young, I thought it is a scary ‘slasher’ film.. You know, seeing that guy cutting hairs with his scissor hands. I had this impression to that particular scene that surely the next moment he will behead that woman. But seeing the movie as a grown up , makes me feel proud that I have watched a kid’s nightmare and actually loved and appreciate the film more than ever. Edward Scissorhands is masterpiece! It is not a horror film but it is darker themed modern fairy tale so everybody can manage to watch it.
The story tells about an artificial man named Edward who lived in a gothic castle. Then he met an AVON Lady (like Sarah Lee) who took him to her house for a place to stay. And that’s where Edward’s adventures and misadventures begin in that American suburbia. At first he finds himself struggling to fit in inside the house and the community. Then he falls in-love with Kim (played by Winona Ryder), the daughter of the family. He got in serious trouble several times. He even became a subject of sexual fantasy of one of the female suburban neighbor.
Edward is a kind and pure-hearted young man but he has some serious problems of his own. He lack self-confidence and is extremely awkward in his movements. “Edward is that feeling of insecurity — the feeling you get when you’re growing up and nothing you do is right, everything you touch breaks,” said Johnny Depp. But what he lacks in self-confidence his creativity more than makes up for it. All that and more troubles Edward went through and slowly win the heart of his beloved Kim.
The film is rich with unforgettable performances from Tim Burton’s collaborators. Johnny Depp’s portrayal is truly touching and genuine being able to convey Edward’s kind character mostly though facial expressions and mannerisms with very limited dialogue. Edward was his first major break, his salvation from a matinée idol to a bankable A-list artist. Who would have known he will later play the mischievous opportunistic bad-ass pirate captain Jack Sparrow, Edward’s extreme opposite.
The film features a very influential musical score from musician Danny Elfman that captures the spirit of the film and invoke such deep, powerful emotion in their music. You just can’t help but notice the music that is”pure and sweet, with a trace of sadness.” The track “Ice Dance” is my favorite used in the scene where Edward’s carving the angel ice sculpture and Winona Ryder is dancing underneath the flurries. That is the moment where Beauty fell for the Beast.
(the Ice Dance scene in Portuguese dub)
But the spotlight belongs to ingenuity of the director. Tim Burton’s visual style is awe-inspiring, mixing gothic elements and the dullness of the suburban lifestyle into a heartbreaking fairy tale. Edward Scissorhands is a story that is also deeply personal to Tim Burton. Edward nonetheless is Tim; that weird boy in the suburbia, unable to connect and misunderstood and that same young man with a lot of imagination.
Edward embodies the theme of isolation and self-discovery. Every one of us have parts in our lives when we feel we are different that makes us an outsider from the rest, especially in our teenage years. Like Tim, Edward’s gift of creativity gave him his identity to be loved and accepted. I think we all can relate to that because we have an Edward inside of us; either that sense of insecurity, awkwardness, isolation, and the never-ending quest for acceptance. So I believe everyone deserves to watch this classic movie.
I rate this movie 10 out of ten pencils.