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Film Analysis - Edward Scissorhands - by Tim Burton

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Film Analysis "Edward Scissorhands" - Katrin Dreher "Edward Scissorhands" by Tim Burton is a fantasy story contrasting both fairytale and horror-imagery. Dominated by two controversial themes, it is a love story between a beauty and a beast as well as a dark parable about loneliness, nonconformity, and the intolerance and tyranny of suburban small minds. The story is about an Avon lady named Peg Boogs who discovers the unfinished experiment of a mad scientist: a weird looking and shy man/monster called Edward living in the neighborhood's old abandoned castle. The scientist died before replacing Edward's large shears with real hands and so his creation is left unfinished and all by himself until Peg shows up. She attempts to bring Edward into her subarban uniform world to live among her skeptical family and gossipy neighbors where at first he experiences positive reactions when he transforms the neighborhood into a fantastical garden by coaxing beautiful topiaries from tress and bushes and when he invents new individual haircuts for all of the town's women. He almost becomes somewhat of a celebrity. But it is hard for Edward to find his place within the superficial harmony and uniformity of suburbia and so later on we find him turned into the hated, mistreated figure of a weird and dangerous outsider and, in the end, he has to flee back to his own environment. ...read more.


So we know that the old lady is the narrator telling the whole following story, meaning that she must know everything that happened. In the central part of the film there occurs a very important scene. It is Christmas and the Boggs family is decorating their house. Suddently it seems to start snowing, and Kim goes outside to see Edward carving an enormous sculpture out of ice. Kim starts to dance in the snow. In this episode the color symbolism of the film is striking: the red and white of tradtional Christmas decorations are seen in Kim's dress and in the contrast between her pale skin and the red cheeks and lipstick. Of great importance is the distribution of flashbacks throughout the movie. In those Edward recalls how he was made in the castle. We can easily identify those scenes as memories because they are of reduced color, suggesting a past time. There is one in the beginning of the movie, one in the central part and one at the end. Step by step the audience is introduced to the creation of Edward. It's like a miracle which is slowly discovered. ...read more.


Numerous stereotypical characters of overly bright fakeness are employed to support this intention. We find the gossipy housewife, the super-religious protector of Christian faith, the voracious man-eating middle-aged woman, the maternal acceptant and the beautiful, virginal, adolescent daughter and her jealous boyfriend, as well as the materialistic father and the spoilt, rich kid who rebels in order to annoy daddy. Burton satirises a society which is so uniform, complacent and unimaginitive that it is unable to cope with someone or something different. This negative opinion is expressed clearly by showing how, at a time of the year when we're supposed to spread cheer and open our hearts - Christmas -, the `good� people reject Edward's need for love and companionship. That way he also depicts the Christan faith as something very superficial because Christians are supposed to love everyone, no matter what they look like. Thus the eventually ironic thing is that Burton's `monster� Edward is essentially more human than the apparently normal world, the supposely `good ones�, hinting that people who aren't as conformed and smooth as the majority of the people sometimes are the ones with the greater hearts because they are true to themself and others. ...read more.

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