dir. by Tim Burton
Cast: Claire Forlani, Dianne Wiest, Johnny Depp, Marc Warren, Vincent Price, Winona Ryder
Rated : 9 Stars
This really is a great film. I bought it on DVD quite a while ago, but it has taken me some time to actually watch it. And I still have the commentaries to look forward to. Unfortunately they seem to have been done by only one person, one by Tim Burton, the other by Danny Elfman. I think that commentaries are always best when there are at least two people playing off one another.
Watching this film again, I couldn’t help but think how perfect everything was. The colours used for the houses, the different set decorations, the way all the husbands returned from work at the same time, and that even their cars were pastel coloured.
Johnny Depp has been having quite a bit of fame at the moment, what with Pirates of the Carribean, Finding Neverland and the upcoming Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but I’ve enjoyed quite a few of his films, especially ones where he plays slightly wierd characters. This and Sleep Hollow are among my favourites.
In case you don’t know, the story is about Peg, the neighbourhood’s Avon Lady, who, while making her rounds of perfect looking homes and manicured but not selling anything decides to try her luck at the big old house on the hill. There she stumbles across Edward, who has scissors for hands.
Thinking him lonely, she rescues him and takes him to live with her family. This, of course excites quite a bit of gossip and interest from the neighbourhood, and soon Edward is a local celebrity. But as always things don’t work out well.
What makes the film work so well is the fairy-tale, slightly surreal style used by Burton. Hightened reality while making it fake and false, also makes it have more of an impact. I could say stuf about how this is a tale of prejudice and the evil of gossip, but sometimes it is better to just enjoy what’s there, and take in the “moral” without analysing it.
The only slight problem is the ending. Real fairy tales don’t hide from showing us horror and horrible events; the wolf chopped up, the grandmother eaten, the ugly sisters chopping off their toes in order to fit into the slipper. But then again a harsh ending would’ve ruined the atmosphere.
Fairy tale magic