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Edward Scissorshands – An Uncommon Hero In Common Society

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The film Edward Scissorshands is not just a calling card of Tim Burton but one of his best creations. Most of Tim Burton’s main characters are used to be “individuals who function outside of their societal norms, they are also archetypical heroes”. But what is more important, “Burton’s heroes leave on a journey that provides a set of experiences resulting in more than personal growth”. Therefore, a mention should be made that Edward Scissorshands is a film called to depict an uncommon hero in common society to describe problems and feelings such person has in Tim Burton’s overstated, original, art way.

It is significant to mention that the film is universal. There is no horror in it, which often leads in Tim Burton’s works. Nevertheless, in Edward Scissorshands, the atmosphere of a gloomy fairy tale is felt from the first to the last minute. There is also no vulgarity in it, which the media today inevitably imposes on people. A cruelty exists, but it is not represented in the form of bloody massacre, violence and other things. This cruelty is primarily moral, psychological and instructive. So, this film is far from Tim Burton’s usual horrors and can be watched by people of all ages.

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Moreover, it is important to note that Edward Scissorshands is relevant for all times. This is the only film of Tim Burton with a deep meaning, but considering his collection of original works, it is vital to note that not all of them are filled with wildly profound meaning, from which our children will also learn the wisdom of the past. But in Edward Scissorshands this wisdom is real. The main problems in the film refer to envy, meanness of people, hypocrisy, corruptible society, and also the problem of tolerance is raised here. These problems have preserved for centuries and they are relevant nowadays as well, so Edward Scissorshands touching these problems will remain valuable and educative for many generations of watchers.

The plot of the film is shown from a position of old woman, who tells this story to her granddaughter as a fairy tale for the night. The fairy tale tells about one good and devoid creature Edward who is a cyborg, not a man. The immortal Edward, who has lived almost all his life alone in a gloomy old castle on a mountain, since he was created by a mad scientist, first enters the society of people. As well as it is necessary to the romantic hero, he falls in love with the most beautiful girl in a city. The outcome of the events is foreseen and fairly clear, but the very path of Edward’s good-natured to this ultimate goal, reciprocity from the object of his adoration, the beautiful Kim, is important. The plot of the film questions and answers how far will the path of pure cyborg in the society of good and bad people to Kimberly’s heart be and how brightly the contrast will be shown between a human inanimate and inhuman living. This is the story of the stunningly beautiful soul of a soulless creature, it is a love that knows no barriers, these are the values that are so important for people today to preserve in the society – responsiveness, kindness, purity of thoughts and intentions, etc. In this film, watchers can find all that characteristics classically opposed to evil, in one single character. Edward has something to give everyone and this film cannot leave any watcher indifferent.

In other words, in Edward Scissorshands the main story refers to the modern “Frankenstein” harmoniously combined with the romantic story of “Beauty and the Beast.” But what is more important, Tim Barton very subtly and successfully played on the feelings of the youth audience. His Edward with scissors instead of hands, who lived all his life in a castle on a hill, being isolated from society, comes to the stagnant, unfair world. Edward is not like everyone else, he is a man with a subtle spiritual organization. He embodies the classic image of the schoolchild-goth, emo, who no one understands. But unlike the schoolboy, to whom everyone should owe something, Edward, on the contrary, disinterestedly brings light and kindness to people. He skillfully carves from the bushes the figures of people and animals like elephants, dinosaurs, decorating the city, painted in kitsch-colored colors, with works of genuine garden art. Naturally, the finale of Barton’s tale is sad enough but at the same time, it is realistic this way.

Also, it is important to mention that Edward Scissorshands was the first film of collaboration between Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. Now, it is hard to imagine anyone else playing the role of Edward, with a shy smile, very thin, with good coordination. Johnny Depp is greatly animates the film, makes it natural, realistic. Through the play work of Johnny Depp, this film, which is also a satire on dull provincials, penetrates the life of a parallel, mysterious, and delectable world.

The film from the first frames evokes a feeling of fairy-tale being so bright, clean, almost toy-looking, but at the same time an absolutely real town appeared to watchers’ eyes. When Johnny Depp appears in this picture, he looks very touching and helpless. The image of such a big child, scary from the outside, but kind inside is recreated and expressed masterfully. Johnny Depp turns out, minimally playing face, to show such a storm of feelings and emotions that Edward appeared to be very deep and multifaceted. Depp’s character is very interesting, he is gloomy, awkward, silent, and unsociable in appearance. He is endowed with boundless kindness, naivety, patience and a huge heart, which even people cannot always boast. The mention should be made that “the titular character provides insight into how an individual’s innocence can mature into compassion that impacts beyond oneself”. Edward’s inner beauty is often reflected in his magnificent works and sculptures, which he masterfully creates with the help of his imperfect hands. Over and over again, the viewer catches himself thinking that Edward must have real, living hands that he behaves as if these hands had once been his, and the scissors are just an annoying misunderstanding, and at the same time he creates with his scissors the most real art. Johnny Depp makes the whole audience admire Edward, worry for him, feel sorry for him, and all this is completely sincere. Moreover, there are practically no weak roles, each actor fits organically into the role assigned to him, creating a landscape against which the main action unfolds. The inhabitants of the town also did their job in creating an atmosphere, at the same time they showed themselves not just some faceless mass, but quite alive and real people. Burton managed to briefly talk about each more or less prominent character, while very unobtrusive.

It is essential to note how masterfully Tim Burton plays on contrasts. Edward’s house is dark, distant from the city limits, while the city itself is bright, colorful, right to nausea: identical houses, a flat lawn, straight smooth roads, hospitable people with perfect smiles, hairdos, in bright clothes, and “the color palette of the town reinforces both society’s unity and acceptance, but also its homogeneity and conformity”. Ideal happy families that have breakfast and dinner at the same table, discuss the pressing problems or their absence. All these glorious houses, lovely people are an exaggerated model of society, clearly depicting how outward appearance can be deceptive, and it often happens that in a beautiful box there is nothing but emptiness.

The film Edward Scissorshands touches a problem of how often people judge other people by their appearance and make mistakes, not having understood, relying only on the eyes. How much good in the world remains misunderstood and unacceptable only because it does not fit into the established social framework. Edward Scissorshands is about how difficult it is to survive in this world for the uncommon person, different one, different from everyone. Even if this person is kind and beautiful in his heart, he looks different and, therefore, nobody will ever trust him and treat him as an equal because people do not like those who are not like them. That other person will be confronted with great difficulties, misunderstanding, rejection and eternal suspicions. Despite the specific oversimplifying original approach of Tim Burton, the film Edward Scissorshands shows a real common society that acts against people who somehow differ from them, referring to the problem of tolerance, prejudice, and acceptance.


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