Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sleepy Hollow (1999)

Tim Burton has made some pretty damn good films in the past 25 years. I’m talkin’ good shit like Beetlejuice, Batman, Batman returns, Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Sleepy hollow, and Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. His films are characterized by a unique creative vision. Fans the world over have fallen in love with the dark style of Tim Burton, and I believe Sleepy Hollow showcases that vision better than most of his other films.

Sleepy Hollow is a re-telling of the classic American short-story written by Washington Irving.
Johnny Depp plays ichabod Crane, a flawed and eccentric detective who is sent to the small town of Sleepy Hollow to investigate a bizarre series of murders involving decapitation.

While investigating, the villagers tell Ichabod stories of a headless horseman, who they suspect is the culprit behind the beheadings. Ichabod doesn’t believe them at first, but it all changes when he comes face to face with the horseman himself. Together with a small orphan and a love interest played by Christina Ricci, Ichabod faces an adventure chock full of lives lost and secrets revealed.

Johnny Depp is incredible in this film, portaying the character of Ichabod Crane with genuine realness and outstanding authenticity. Ichabod is tragically flawed, allowing his nervousness and fear to interfere with his duties as a detective. This behavior causes Ichabod to faint several times in the film, leading to many comical moments, such as a particularly funny scene in the bedroom. Ichabod continues Tim Burton’s tradition of having the main character in his films be a misunderstood outcast from society.

The spectacular visual appeal of this film is more than enough to dictate atleast one viewing. Tim Burrton’s unique vision produces a dark and atmospheric environment in the film, perfectly representing the dark mood of the plot. The environment is so important to the movie that Burton demanded that the entire town and forrest be built onto a soundstage, so he could control every aspect of the environment.

All the extra effort was definently worth while, because Sleepy Hollow is a very beautiful movie, and the best representation of Burton’s unique vision since Edward Scissorhands.

Another great aspect of the film are the great costumes and character designs. The characters wear authentic clothing from the era, with everybody wearing a very interesting wardrobe. The most interesting character design is the headless horseman. Back when I saw this movie in the theatres back in 1999, I thought the horseman was cool as fuck, with his black armor and black horse. Even ten years later I still think he’s a badass motherfucker. His design is just so cool, and the fact that he’s played by Christopher walken makes him even cooler.

Overall, Sleepy Hollow is a great, atmospheric film with interesting characters and an engaging plot. This isn’t my favorite Burton film, but it’s definently one of his best.

No comments:

Post a Comment