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Corpse Bride (2005)

by on 2011/10/21

“I don’t not not want to get married…”

* * *

Folks who know me know I’m not a big fan of weddings.

I don’t care for them.

It is likely because I’m not a big fan of marriage.

Not. At. All.

In fact, I’m opposed. Damn, damn opposed.

In fact, whenever someone tells me they are about to get married, I always resist the urge to pat them on the hand, stare at them sorrowfully and say, “I’m so very sorry.”

According to stats I found on the wide and great Internet, it’s expected that 37.7% of all Canadian marriages will end in a divorce before the 30th anniversary. That percentage increases for each subsequent marriage.

I don’t much like those odds.

To me, marriage is akin to a death sentence. So The Corpse Bride by Tim Burton sounded just about purpose-built just for me.

So why didn’t I like it more?

It didn’t make sense, so I’ve watched it 5 more times to see if the ‘meh’ feeling continued. I regret to report that it did.

The darkly lovely, talented Helena Bonham Carter (Sweeney Todd) is great as Emily, the Corpse Bride. Johnny Depp is equally great as the querulous, reluctant groom Victor. Emily Watson effectively plays the mousy, timorous Victoria. Albert Finney plays Victoria’s father, financially destitute nobility Finis Everglot. Richard Grant (Withnail and I) nails the stabby, smarmy Barkis Bittern.

Great voices all.

But there was the ‘meh’ large as life again.

Could it be I don’t like musicals? No, that’s not true. I like musicals. I even like Danny Elfman just fine.

Perhaps I have stared too long into the lipid, dark pools of Johnny Depp’s insomniac eyes, both live action and now animated.

There is much that should fill me with gothic love in The Corpse Bride. First, it is based on a murder most foul. There’s loads of black and white, enormous eyes on characters with flailing matchstick arms and legs. Victorian repression. Curly cues, ravens, bones. Love, love, love. Check, the gang’s all there.

And the look of the film is signature Burton.

But there’s something about it – to me – that felt like I’m stuck in the land of permanent fog – my senses clogged with grey.

Perhaps it is the fact that the entire thing is about forced marriage. Marriage when one is deluded, desperate and/or willing is bad enough …but a marriage that is forced upon an unwilling participant …well that’s just monstrous.

Maybe my baggage got in the way of all there was to love.

And I am on a Tim Burton bender in celebration of OctoBurton Fest. Perhaps it is just too much of a good thing. Like eating an entire box of dark chocolate truffles.

* * *

77 minutes

Rated PG for bones, wise-cracking maggots, death, death and more death, and worst of all, a frank depiction of marriage

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  1. Month in Review: October 2011 « Geek vs Goth

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