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Edward Scissorhands

Edward Scissorhands is a wonderfully made movie. Watching it earlier today after a long time, it occurred to me that there were layers to the movie that I didn’t know about 19 years ago.

At the literal level, it makes sense in a fairy-tale kind of way. Charming, romantic, sad.

At a deeper level, it’s the story of someone who is longing for social interaction but is socially awkward and ill-equipped to handle the norms of society, as evidenced by his sculpting the Boggs family, and of Kim dancing, yet being unable to hold a conversation or express his feelings. The knives take on a new meaning as a metaphor for this lack of social skills.

Combined with Edward’s longing for human contact is the tragedy that he ends up hurting anyone he cares for. When his inventor dies, Edward tries to touch his face and ends up cutting him.

The same happens with Kim, and her brother Kevin.

Apparently, there’s an even deeper level that this movie can be understood at. It never occurred to me till I read this wonderful article by Cory Sampson. He analyzes the movie and Edward’s behavior as an allegory of a man afflicted with Asperger Syndrome.

It’s a classic Tim Burton film, and almost 20 years later, it hasn’t lost any of its charm.

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