The film that forever typecast the pairing of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp as the masters of the macabre and the weird, Edward Scissorhands is a love story unlike any other you have ever seen. Burton seems to do best with his original material, and you’d be hard-pressed to get more original than Edward Scissorhands. It almost seems as though Burton would forever attempt to recapture the magic that this film contains with his subsequent works; whether he would succeed or not is a question still up for debate, as he has had quite the shoes to fill.
Right from the get-go, Burton’s amazing visual imagination is on full display. Even the supposedly normal sets and sceneries have such a vibrant and varied color scheme that the entire film looks like some sort of madcap cartoon. It is this that truly makes a Tim Burton film, and all his following efforts would continue in this vein. It is Depp who steals the show here; he studied the works of Chaplin to isolate just how to convey emotion with no dialogue, and he nails the emotional turmoil and facial expressions of Edward down to a T. The film does so much right, from the production design and art direction to the world-class score by Danny Elfman, that it is hard to look past the dazzling veneer to see just what the film doesn’t quite get right, such as the oftentimes meandering story which favors the flair and the glitz of the storytelling rather than actually telling the story. Still, when the film turns out as magical as this one does, one can hardly fault it for indulging in itself a little.
I’m normally not a fan of Burton’s films, as they tend to be very samey and deliberately weird, but now I can understand them a little better; they are all just trying to be the next Edward Scissorhands. This is the one that gets it down right, the formula for making the most unformulaic film one can and still have it be great. If you have yet to see this, due to stereotype of Burton and Depp or fears it will be too freaky, give it a chance anyways. This is one of those rare films that just has that something magical about it, even if you can’t place what it is, and it will still win you over regardless.
Arbitrary Rating: 9/10