innocent_man: (centimani)
[personal profile] innocent_man
Edward Scissorhands is a faerie tale directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp (you'll be seeing that sentence again). Depp plays the title role, an Unfleshed Promethean created by a mad but kindly demiurge (Vincent Price) who comes to a small suburban town and is subsequently driven out as the townsfolk succumb to Disquiet.

I'm kidding, of course, but honestly it's amazing how well the movie fits the game's paradigm. Edward is, at first, fascinating to the bored housewives of the pastel hell that is the suburb. He can create hedge animals and avant-garde hairstyle for dog and woman alike. He's polite and softspoken and pale and ageless (no one thinks it odd that 40-year-old women are hot for him, and no one thinks it odd when he starts mooning over a high school student). He's a much-needed breath of life into the community...

...but he's got scissors for hands. Despite numerous mentions of "a doctor friend who could maybe help you," no one follows up on that, and Edward, naive and trusting, gets roped into committing larceny on his guardian's daughter's boyfriend's parents (Diane Wiest, Winona Ryder, Anthony Michael Hall, respectively). About this point the townsfolk turn on him (Disquiet crests level 2 and we pass from fascination and obsession to spite and fear), and Edward, facing a sudden influx of jealousy over Kim (Ryder) and constant fear and suspicion from the other townsfolk, lashes out, which just perpetuates the cycle. The townsfolk don't exactly pursue him with torches and pitchforks, but close enough.

All Promethean references aside, the movie works precisely because it's a fable. It's framed as the story an old woman tells her granddaughter to explain snow (which makes no goddamn sense), and within the movie itself, it starts to fray around the edges when we see things like police and banks and other "outside the neighborhood" things. And I think that's fine; if the movie tried to take itself more seriously, it would fall apart. As it is, it holds up just well enough that we buy that Kim's father (Alan Arkin) is a bowling champion and that the town hot-pants (Kathy Baker) wants to bang every male in the immediate vicinity, but we don't feel the need to ask questions like "where the hell did that ice come from?" and "doe Edward actually need to eat?" and "where did the Inventor's body go?" and so on.

I can't help feel like this is Burton's way to explain Burton. "Look at me, tortured, an outsider, trapped among the sheeple," but if that's the case, it's handled deftly enough by Depp that it doesn't feel wanky. I hadn't watched this movie in a good long while, but I still enjoy it.

My grade: B
Rewatch value: Medium

Next up: Eight-Legged Freaks

Date: 2012-09-15 12:35 am (UTC)
gamerchick: Kaylee resting her head on Inara's shoulder.  Both are smiling. (Inara/Kaylee)
From: [personal profile] gamerchick
Thank you for understanding that this movie is awesome precisely because it doesn't make sense. I never saw the Promethean connection before, but now that you mention it, yeah, pretty much that.


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