Tim Burton is known for his films having a flare of Gothic style and seeing a tale in a new perspective. The Corpse Bride is Burton’s concept of what occurs to the spirit when their lives are cut short. Giving a unique outlook on how death is not as depressing as mortals think compared to living in the World of the Living.
The Corpse Bride is set in an alternative Victorian London. Victor and Victoria are forced into an arranged marriage. Victor’s pareents hope that the marriage will boost their standings in society while Victoria’s is hopeful to gain money despite being poor. The couple falls in love after their first meeting, but Victor flees after failing to say his vows during the practice wedding.
While practicing his vows in the woods, Victor trips placing a wedding ring of a tree branch which turns into a hand belonging to the corpse bride named Emily. After fainting Victor wakes up in the Land of the Dead where he learns Emily’s tale and experiences life in the Underworld while trying to return to the Land of the Living.
Victor Van Dort is the main focus of the story being a kind-hearted young man that sees the good in even the worst situations. He is shy and clumsy when stressed out or embarrassed. He falls in love with Victoria after interacting with her through music yet his fears of disappointing her leads to the mishap in the woods.
Victoria Everglot is a young English woman that was raised in high society by her pareents. She is shy and conservative using her family’s piano to show her emotions when first meeting Victor. She allows her parents to control her life forcing her into the arranged marriage hoping that it will make her pareents happy.
Emily is the corpse bride after being murdered on the night she was eloping with her lover. It’s clear that Emily suffered a tragic death due to part of her body being buried while the rest was left exposed to the elements. Emily is talented with the piano and enjoys singing. She hopes that by marrying Victor it will give her the love and happiness she missed out on.
Lord Barkis Bittern is a stiff snob who arrives during the rehearsal wedding for Victor and Victoria. He claims to be a rich lord that was invited to the wedding despite the pareents of the bride and groom not knowing who he is. He appears as a consoling gentleman but keeps insisting that he would make a better husband for Victoria.
This is one of my favorite movies by the Gothic director. The story takes a playful spin on what occurs to those that pass on to the next life but still have unfinished business. Burton shows the Land of the Living as dull and boring showing people in colors of washouts and greys, yet the Land of the Dead is the total opposite filled with bright colors and a party that never ends.
I would give the film an eight out of ten rating, due to the lack of story development for the film is a bit slow until Victor goes to the land of the dead. I do enjoy the character development and the interactions between the two worlds.
Furthermore, it’s clear that Burton put a lot of thought in how he wanted the film to appear to the audience. He used music, backdrops and characters to show the vast contrasts between the Land of the Living and the Land of the Dead. He wanted to show that there was still fun after we die hoping to put a positive spin on the afterlife. Throughout the movie music is used to show emotion showing that all souls have a connection through their love of the arts.
Now. shush, I’m trying to read,