Edward Scissorhands Review

Figure 1. Poster (1990)

Edward scissor hands(1990) directed by Tim Burton is an interesting film, this is because of the way it distorts the idea of social norms. Edward (Johnny Depp) looks like a typical horror story villain is actually innocent and childlike, the actual villains are the people who take advantage of Edwards gentle nature.

The visuals of the film look great but some would argue that the story lacks depth. Roger Ebert makes a point when he says something along the lines of "Burton's movies look great, but they should make some attempt to make the characters more than caricatures"(Ebert , 1990). This is a valid point some of the characters seem to lack personality as if they are just to fill a role, but this is not true of all the main characters. Edward is a prime example of a character who is built perfectly and has made some what relatable. An example of a person who seems artificial is Peg (Dianne Wiest) throughout the film she seems to adhere to every motherly stereotype imaginable, because of this she seem cliché and a bit generic. To some extent that artificiality is needed to document the growth of Edward, but it make her stale and uninteresting.   

Figure 2. Edward Scissorhands. (1959)

The set design for this film is amazing, the way the gothic castle is contrasted with the artificial suburbia sets the tone for the film. When the spectator first sees the castle grounds they are greeted with a lovely garden, this is the first instant that the viewer is allowed to peek into a Edwards childlike psyche. The viewer is able to see more of Edwards psyche when Peg finds him, he is hiding in the dark, this connotes he is afraid of Peg.  Although he is afraid of Peg his child like curiosity gives him the courage to see who or what Peg is.  "Peg is alarmed at first by the flash of Edwards lethal blades. But her maternal instincts are soon aroused" (Travers, 1990). Soon after Peg becomes the mother Edward never had, feeding him, clothing him and giving him a home. Edward's character is tested when his motherly figure rejects him, after his rejection Edward realises that he was nothing but a tool and this cause his bursts of violence towards the end of the film.

Figure 3. Edwards castle
 The film does well to show "civilizations power to corrupt innocence" (Maslin, 1990), because of social pressures to be accepted. People conform to social norms which exercises Two step flow theory, the idea that some people are opinion leaders and some are opinion followers. The pastel colours of the suburban home which is supposed to show individuality but instead creates a sense of conformity. The only person who seems to be an individual is Edward, but society tries to force is norms onto him and because he doesn't conform he is rejected. Two step flow is expressed through Edward when he became a trendsetter, but because of the nature of these  trends he is soon replaced by the next big thing.

In conclusion the film has an interesting way of addressing  the social issues of the other (those who reject norms to be and individual).

Illustrations list 
Figure. 1. Edward scissorhands poster, (c.1990) [poster] At: http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSZfwTUFUYVQkVu0BcSoKvREr8Kn9lovO4Y7wTC7xZZmO7TEAXF  (accessed on 30/11/2014) 

Figure. 2. Edward Scissorhands. (1959). From: Edward Scissorhands, Directed by: Tim Burton [Film still]. At:
http://fogsmoviereviews.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/edward_scissorhands_hill.png (accessed on(30/11/2014) 

Figure. 3. Edwards castle. (1959). From: Edward Scissorhands, Directed by: Tim Burton [Film still]. At: http://zannaland.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/edward-1.jpg (accessed on 30/11/2014) 


Maslin, J.(1990) Edward Scissorhands reveiw. At http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9C0CE2D81338F934A35751C1A966958260 (accessed on 20/11/2014) 

Ebert, R.(1990) Edward Scissorhands reveiw. At: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/edward-scissorhands-1990 (accessed on 20/11/2014) 

Travers, P. (1990) Edward Scissorhands reveiw. At: http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/reviews/edward-scissorhands-19901214 (accessed on 20/11/2014) 


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