"Edward Scissorhands" is a story about a man whose beautiful and fragile soul is trapped within a prison of loneliness and pain because his unique appearance has makes him a misunderstood outcast.
Edward (Johnny Depp) is an emotionally compelling and beautiful character. While his scars and scissor-like hands paint him as something of a monster (at least in the eyes of everyone who fails to see past his outward appearance), in his heart he is very much an innocent child. He’s not a dangerous villain...just a scared little boy whose heart desperately yearns for love and acceptance. His curious nature compels him to explore this new world that he has been brought into, but his creator’s sudden death and the town’s unwillingness to accept him have left his heart fragile. His gift for creating beauty where there is none frees him from the lonely shackles of fear and pain and allows him, if only for a moment, to feel complete.
Color plays a strong symbolic role in the Edward’s journey. There are two very different worlds woven into the film: the dark and solitary world that is Edward’s sanctuary and the vibrantly flamboyant world of the people who live in the town below him. The irony of these two worlds is that while one is filled with people and the other with the soul of just one person, it is Edward’s world that reflects the most life. The vibrancy of the town, while it gives the impression of warmth and happiness, is, for the most part, just a cold, empty shell. When a kind woman named Peg brings Edward home with her, the two worlds are merged for a time and Edward’s painful existence is softened by Peg’s maternal warmth and her daughter, Kim’s tender affection for him. Alas, his joy is extinguished when the true monsters shatter Edward’s moment of happiness and force him back into the shadows of isolation forever.
"Edward Scissorhands" is a film that combines tender love with heartbreaking pain to create a truly exceptional story. The casting is perfect, particularly in the case of Johnny Depp who brought so many layers of believable emotion to the character of Edward. While this is not the first time this particular kind of story has been brought to life, this story stands out because the audience establishes such an emotional connection to Edward’s character. As the story plays out, the viewer will vacillate between wanting to give this poor, sweet, child-like character a hug and an ever growing desire to knock some sense into these closed-minded, pernicious, flamboyant, bullies who sought to inflict such pain on him. This film is highly recommended to anyone who enjoys Tim Burton at his best.