Corpse Bride Review
Written by: BlackTequilaKiss
A fantasy-gothic horror that is close to my heart. Much like my loved collection of Horror it sits proudly alongside my beloved Burton films. This worms it's way into my heart and is the personification of everything Burton-esque.
In the same vein as Edward Scissorhands and of course the delicious Nightmare Before Christmas, this still maintains its own identity. I adore horror but there is nothing quite as amazing as a great horror musical and along with Repo! and Sweeney this fits nicely. I think it is safe to say I love this movie.
Storyline: Set in the 19th century, Corpse Bride follows the story of Victor. Taken away to the underworld he is wed to a mysterious Corpse Bride, whilst back in the land of the living his true bride, Victoria waits bereft. Although life in the land of the dead proves to be more colourful than Victor's own strict upbringing he comes to realise that nothing in this world-or the next- will keep him away from his one true love... Victoria. But how do you escape a world where everyone but you are dead?
What else did I expect of Burton? The gothic visualisations, the stunning backdrops, the catchy numbers all blend so seamlessly. It's a favourite of mine that I can watch countless times and it still seems new every time.
If there is one thing I love about the man's movies is his collaborations with Johnny Depp. An actor who is willing to look different (not beautiful) and add plenty of dimension to a movie, who can readily change the tone of his voice to fit the character. Hence Victor, a charismatic but naive man who despite being on the verge of marrying his one true love still cannot find the courage to speak his vows.
Depp plays a lot of unique characters who seem to have one trait throughout. A quiet, confident manner and a worldly intellect, not much as changed in this. Still with that same cleverness his character is steeped in shyness, it's the quirks that Depp brings to his roles that works and this is no less an example.
Helena Bonham Carter, ah, what can I say of her? She's beautiful in a dark, mysterious manner. Any role that has a darker edge seems to appeal to her look and creativity. Atypically playing Corpse Bride, she's sweet but creepy, kind but scary. Had anyone else done the voice I might have been left a little wondering but in her hands, magic happens.
There is another thing we can almost be guaranteed of Tim's film and that is the person who will do the score. In many cases it has been Danny Elfman, so who in this case? Easy! Danny Elfman.. Ok I will admit for a Burton-esque film that some of the songs throughout were rather forgetful but what makes them worth watching is the colourful and lively characters.
Even in the most forgettable songs, they give enough heart and soul to make those songs unforgettable. Quirkiness and some wonderfully fleshed out colours make every song come alive even in the underworld. Forgettable? Fairly, dull? No. It still remains fresh and vibrant and that is the beauty of Burton's film.
Mackinnon & Saunders who provided the puppets and
Moving Picture Company who handled the visual effects did an amazing job when you consider the time spent with the movie. Every puppet when finally fleshed into the film properly looked completely within place and the visual effects just wow. The visualisation of the forest, the grand house he plans to do the wedding rehearsals in, stunning.
Combining it with sounds such as wind, rain and a heart rendering score it just reels you in. One of the best things highlighted in this film is the stark difference between the land of the living and the land of the dead. Usual practise is to have the underworld as dark, gloomy and moody and have the living world bright and full of colour. This changed tact.
Instead the underworld was bright, livening and the upper world was depressing, lonely. It does have some scary moments but not outright horrible scary but a more refined fear. Not meant for out and out shocks but for those watching to take a step back and revel in the moment. Some of the jokes were plain bad but in good taste so nothing was lost. But really the visualisations are the biggest pull of the movie and for good reason, they look gorgeous and are equally macabre.
I've said already I'm a Burton gal through and through. His movies are not to generate disgust, they are not made to push the line instead they are they to appreciate the finer points of art, to share his love for visual and to show his skill.
From now till the my last day I shall remain a Burton-esque Fan and even for those not completely in love with his films I suggest time to watch it. It has a dark gothic undertone that is present in many of his films and is steeped in richness. I love this movie and consider it a delight from delicious beginning to the tender end. Awesome!
Take the time to watch it, enjoy everyone :)