The story of Edward Scissorhand is a modern day account of beauty and the beast. The main genre of Burton’s film is a Gothic-Horror film with romance and comedy added. The story takes place in suburban America where the majority of members are familiar with each other’s movements and whereabouts. When Peg brings in Edward the majority see him as an outsider, they also choose to use him to the best of their advantage. After a series of events which tarnishes Edward’s name the members of the community begin to view him as someone dangerous.
The themes in this movie contain a lot to do with acceptance; it shows us that it is hard to be part of the norm of society when you stand out. The other major theme that only comes to play is love, this love is the type of love that is never meant to be between two very different people. For Edward his love with Peg’s daughter was undeniable but also one that was never meant to happen and could never exist in reality. These themes all mashed up together shows Edward Scissorhands in its finest detail.
One of the most important parts of the story is when Edward is falsely accused for doing things in which he was not capable of understanding and never did. The first moment in which he was falsely accused was the raping of the neighbour who in fact was attempting to seduce Edward. This is an important turn in the film as it reveals to us that many people who were “interested” in Edward was only in it for using him in whatever way they wanted.
The second time is when Edward is used by Kim and her boyfriend to commit a crime, although he was somehow aware of it he was still seen as naive and being tricked to do this. The development of Edward also sees two very different sides of Edward, one that can hurt and one that can love both at the same time. When Edward and Kim hugs in one of the scene it would appear as a typical love scene where both parties hold one another for a short period of time, side by side.
However, the loving Edward in all ways tries to express his love to her is reminded once again that he can do nothing but hurt them if he touches them. This tells us that Edward was made to harm people and it was best that he stays away from them, making it impossible for him to love or at least express it in a humanly way. Burton constructs the character of Edward in a very unique way. Firstly, Edward’s Scissors for hands becomes a key issue in the plot as many members in the neighbourhood aim to exploit his skills in cutting. Whilst Tim Burton reates Edward to be a shy and curious character he also shows the beast inside Edward. His initial naivety leaves place to feelings of frustration, reject and revolt at people’s ways. Edward also comes to realise, that he can be dangerous to others, that he is unable to even touch others without inadvertently harming them because of the sharpness of the blades he has instead of hands. The development of Edward is a long one as we see a change in a shy innocent being transformed into one whom fully understands every aspect of being human; temptation, anger, hate and love.
Other Characters in the film are representative of the stereotype of much American culture. These characters are portrayed without much success as the attitudes of the people serve no logic to the stories development. Throughout the film their presence gives us no meaning and only a handful of characters such as Peg’s family serve a purpose, the rest act as a collective who are merely there to fill in the spot of the script, I would have enjoyed seeing Burton add some more depth to these character and give them a part in some way to influence the development of Edward.
The music and the setting of the film really prove what Tim Burton has intended the entire time for the film. Despite being a gothic themed film Burton uses many modern day elements such as the colour of the background to blend alongside Edwards’s mansion and the gothic theme associated with it, though at times both aspects contradict each other in terms of the ironic nature of it as they both somehow co-exist. The music was well done and chose appropriately for different scenes which had association to characters, emotion and setting. Most of these aspects were done with high quality and supported the film.