Interview: The Binds That Tie
Unions: Worth Cycling For
Industrial: The Elephant in the Corner
Legal: A Law Unto Themselves
Politics: Ethically Lonely
History: Women, Unions, Banners and Parades
Women: Relaxed and Comfortable?
International: The Last Social Democrat
Review: The Corpse Bride
Culture: Tony Moore Holds His Own
The Locker Room
A Free Vote
John Bares All
Tom A World Away
The Corpse Bride
By James Gallaway
This is a love story set in hell, where murder is just the beginning of happily ever after and joy has no place in the world of the living.
The story is set in black and white Victorian England. Victor Van Dort, a timid soul played by Johnny Depp, is on his way to his wedding. His bride Victoria, played by Emily Watson, is from a family of penniless aristocrats, the Everglots, who Victor's social climbing, novo riche parents want to join.
Victor, nervous about the wedding and unable to remember his lines, goes to the forest out of town to practice. Reciting his vows he puts the ring on a twig poking from the ground, which is actually the boney finger of the corpse bride who enthusiastically accepts her newfound matrimony.
Cast into hell, Victor struggles to regain his position in the land of the living and marry his betrothed Victoria. Even so, hell is not is not such a bad place compared with the world above, situated as it is in a bar where Bonejangles (Danny Elfman) sings swinging songs with a skeleton jazz band.
At the films core is a message of inversion. The world of hell with its vices and colour is a better place to be than the drab, black and white world of arranged marriages and petty fascination with money, a message with obvious appeal.
This is an enormously well crafted animated feature that leaves the likes of Shrek for dead. It has the same stop motion effects that director Tim Burton used in The Nightmare before Christmas, but this time he has added an element of computer animated design to give his puppets a subtlety of expression that animation has never before realized.
But the genius is such that you will be lost in the story of how hell isn't such a bad place to be.
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