I have always said that Edward Scissorhands is Tim Burton’s masterpiece. It captures Burton’s imagination in a way that we can all strangely relate to.
The film is about an outcast who gets his fifteen minutes of fame, and then everyone turns against him when he is convinced to rob a house, by Jim (Anthony Micheal Hall). At this stage we are so in love with the character Edward that we feel sorry for him.
Edward is a very lovable character for the fact that he is childlike and naive, but unfortunately it is those every things that doom him to being an outcast for the rest of his life. When we first meet him, we are scared by the thought of this man with scissors for hands because we have no idea how he got that way, and what kind of life he has had. For all we knew he could have attacked Peg (The Avon Lady), however when we discover that he is sweet and harmless we feel a strong connection to the character.
When Peg takes him in to her home we realise he has been sheltered his whole life and doesn’t know how to convert to civilisation, and as the film progresses we see that he was created by the inventor (Vincent Price). As humans we relate to Edwards loss, fear and naivety. We have all experienced what Edward feels in a way, even if for some of us it was many years ago we have all found ourselves in a situation where we feel out of place, excited, and maybe even scared in a new environment.
On top of all that, Edwards Scissorhands is a love story between Edward and Kim (Winona Ryder). When they are first introduced Kim is terrified of him, understandably, but after time she warms up to him and his wonderful and sweet charm resulting in loving feelings towards him, who could forget the moment when sweet Kim looks Edward in the eyes and says “Hold Me” and in response Edward says “I can’t” knowing full well that there would be a possibility of him hurting the one he loves. In a way it is the most beautiful love story because in the end Kim has to give Edward up to save his life.
The film has captured the perfect mix of characters, we have the gossips, the religious nut, the down to earth family, the douche bag and the outcast all together and it works because it feels like real suburban life. I guess Burton was just trying to capture his image of his childhood and show people the way he felt at the time, him being like Edward.
Set wise, the film is astonishing. Burton literally took over a town in Florida and painted all the houses to make the film look realistic. Then there is the castle type building where Edward lives – huge and magnificent with Burtons dark charm. And the gardens with the sculpted hedges are a nod to Burtons artistic traits and give the whole film a beautiful charm.