Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Edward Scissorhands (1990) Review:

Johnny Depp is known for many roles in his career. Not only does he give his characters charm but also makes his fans feel like the character he plays is real. Before 1990, Depp had been in a number of productions but none were truly noted until after he became famous, like being in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) or Platoon (1988). This however, is one of Depp's most critically defining roles and most likely what shot him to the top of popularity. This is also Depp's first collaboration with director Tim Burton, and we all know where that went from there. That is, at least the people who know of Johnny Depp.

What takes place is a drama that centers on a small town with nosy inhabitants. When something new comes along, word spreads very quickly. What's new in town is Edward (Johnny Depp); a human with scissors for hands or scissor-fingers. After a mother discovers him all alone, she takes him home to live a normal life. There, Edward begins his transformation as a human being; going through various stages in life that a person could experience. The most significant of them is falling in love with the family's daughter, Kim (Winona Ryder). This particular subplot is not only magnetic in its execution but also plays a much bigger part in its story telling. This is where the heart and emotion of the story lies. As Caroline Thompson's first theatrical screenplay, she did a great job.

Ryder and Depp have great chemistry and portray the emotion with power. Ryder is very beautiful here and has the proper character development. And although Depp says little throughout, he comes across as innocent and likable. Also, because this is a Burton production, he's going to add a bit of his influence, thus giving Edward his iconic and gothic wardrobe. Along with these two leads, the cast also includes Alan Arkin, Anthony Michael Hall and the very last theatrical appearance of Mr. Vincent Price himself. Of all things that weren't wrong with the movie, this was my only complaint. Price plays "The Inventor" of Edward, but it is never explained what was the inventor's intention of replacing Edward's hands with scissors, nor was it explained to what the inventor himself did as a person. Apparently he ran a cookie factory but was that his life's work? There could've been more exposition on Price's character; especially since it was his last movie.

However, this is the only problem. Everything else is entirely well constructed. Stan Winston did an amazing job making Edward's hands feel so lifelike and dangerous at the same time. That's Winston for you. Bo Welch's production design is heavy on being simple but loves to accentuate them in a big way. An example of this would be of "The Inventor's" factory at which Edward lived, or, even the hedgework that Edward created. It was all big and grand. Then there was Stefan Czapsky's cinematography, which contrasted the difference between the town's elementary colors and Edward's get-up, which made him stand out. The same year Czapsky also worked on Child's Play 2 (1990) where a parallel can be drawn to the color scheme. Finally was Danny Elfman's score, which was an enormous proprietor to the emotion. By incorporating vocals and several crescendos, viewers will more than likely have goosebumps on their arms. It's that good. It is definitely worth the time to see this.

Aside from having one of the more important characters under developed, the rest of this film is absolutely wonderful. It is a fairy tale that excels beyond the cliched ideas of the past with its riveting music, emotional acting and almost perfect story.

Points Earned --> 9:10

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