Movie: Edward Scissorhands

I think I was too young the first time I saw Edward Scissorhands.

Here is a movie full of tenderness and ambiguity, not to mention a gaudy, surreal interpretation of suburban culture that is very unsettling. And here I am, thinking Why would you build a guy without hands? And for the love of God, even if hands are really, really hard to make—even if it takes twenty years—why would you replace them with giant dangerous shears in the interim?

I was not a particularly poetic child and was given to rather literal thinking.

Happily, my perspective has evolved a bit since the days of being eight. Now, my favorite aspect of the story is the portrayal of the character himself—the conflict between the creepiness of his physiology, and his kind, gentle tendencies and earnest desire to do good.

Thanks to my new, more adult capacity to think of shears-for-hands as a metaphor, I now feel like the character works beautifully as an embodiment of loneliness and alienation, which contributes to the heartrending-ness of the community’s ultimate rejection of Edward, and also explains why you can buy his snowglobe at Hot Topic.

Yes, despite my initial bafflement, my favorite aspect is now Edward’s very dangerous hands. They may be completely illogical, but they serve to illustrate the way the compassionate and the monstrous can be equally present in the same character.

3 thoughts on “Movie: Edward Scissorhands

  1. and also explains why you can buy his snowglobe at Hot Topic. LOL

    I love this movie. Interesting analysis! And, funnily enough, I actually compared it to Frankenstein as the final paper in one of my ugrad classes. Lots of parallels, from the maker to the psychology of the ‘monster’ itself. Or, at least the prof bought my argument. 😀

    I saw it when it came out… like you, I was waaaay too young. It kinda gave me some serious nightmares. :/

    Also, Johnny Depp? Yowza. 😀

  2. Ooh, that’s a cool paper–and yes, I love the Frankenstein-awareness of the ending.

    My personal Edward Scissorhands story is that one of my roommates made the best-ever Edward Scissorhands costume for Halloween, and it was honestly very like the movie–everyone had to avoid him and he kept ruining things without meaning to.

  3. I remember liking the movie (possibly crying?) and the few times that I’ve trimmed hedges he always came to mind. Also, I think of Powder.

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