Written by Old Bluffer 23rd Jul 2007
Submitted by commanderblue
In Tim Burton's finest modern fantasy, Jim plays the unsubtle, brutish side of mundania.
On this fateful night, he is drunkenly thrashing his van down the immaculate streets, and very nearly mows down Kevin - the younger brother of his ex-girlfriend Kim. Quite why the delicately beautiful Kim (Winona Ryder) ever saw fit to date this buffoon is a mystery. Or maybe it is all a part of Burton's deeper message - if you're bored of your hometown and feel life is going nowhere, leave and do something, or you'll end up married to a Jim!
Edward Scissorhands, the very anithesis of Jim, rushes to save young Kevin, but although he pushes him clear of the speeding van, Kevin inevitably suffers some minor lacerations from Edward's prosthetic scissorhands.
Unfortunately this isn't the first time that the scissors have drawn blood. Earlier Edward was caught up in expressing his love for Kim through the medium of ice sculpture, his scissor blades whirling with such speed and passion that the ice chips formed into snow. Kim, utterly enchanted by his work, startled him and he whirled around, accidently slashing her hand. As soon as Jim found out, he jealously stirred up the townsfolk, and they are marching en masse by the time they witness Edward on top of a bloodied (but alive) Kevin.
Brash, loud and obnoxious at the best of times, drink doesn't do Jim's personality any favours, and he wastes no time in proceeding to beat Edward up, who - more from confusion than in self-defence - cuts Jim as well.
By this time, the crowd have seen enough (even though Kevin is screaming the truth), and chase Edward to his former home, a large gothic castle overlooking the town.
The angry mob are desperately eager to perform their own reenactment of Frankenstein, but are too stupid to work out how to enter the castle. Kim has been there before though, and slips inside to console a distraught Edward.
Tragically, Jim follows her with murderous intentions. He has a gun and reasons that the town is angry enough that he can get away with shooting the "freak" in cold blood. Kim grabs the gun though, and the stray shot brings down part of the castle, trapping Edward under the rubble. Jim then shows his frustration at losing his girl to a sensitive soul he can't possibly understand in the only way he knows how - by jock-beating Edward into goth-pulp.
Kim once again tries to save him, but Jim kicks her away, which finally spurs Edward into an uncharacteristic display of rage. He lashes out with his scissorhands, plunging them deep into Jim's belly and sending him hurtling over the edge to fall to his death.
This dooms Edward's brief foray into society - he was barely tolerated as a harmless misfit, but as a known killer he can't possibly have any quality of life to look forwards to. All Kim can do for him is tearfully take a prototype scissorhand left by Edward's creator, and tell the townspeople that he is dead.
We learn in the bittersweet epilogue that Edward never left the old castle, and lives there still. How do we know? Well the story is being narrated by Kim to her granddaughter, and she tells the young girl:
"Before he came down here, it never snowed, and afterwards it did. If he weren't up there now, I don't think it would be snowing. Sometimes you can still catch me dancing in it."
We are then shown an ageless Edward, surrounded by brilliant, beautiful ice sculptures, with the teenage Kim immortalised as the breathtaking centrepiece. He is busily crafting a new piece, and the ensuing snowstorm rolls down the mountain and into the town.
Is this how the story ends, or is it merely the fanciful imagining of an old lady? It doesn't really matter as by this time Burton's fairy tale has already worked its magic. Kim lived out her life "normally", but was forever touched by the story of Edward Scissorhands - and I suspect the same will be true for a great many of the audience.
Editor Note: This death scene was nothing special, but was dramatically necessary for the bittersweet ending to work so well. The film was never about Jim after all, which is why he was only ever a two-dimensional caricature of a "bad guy". Therefore despite the low score, it should be pretty apparent that I love this film, mainly for its quirky, original and unashamedly romantic storytelling. Burton's stylish sets, Johhny Depp's unforgettable performance and Danny Elfman's evocative score are just the icing on an intricate and multi-layered cake. ~ Old Bluffer