Friday, 28 March 2014

''Beetlejuice'' (1988 movie)- Review

Directed by: Tim Burton
Released: 1988
Country: United States

Genres: Comedy, Horror, Fantasy

Cast: Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winona Ryder, Catherine O'Hara, Jeffrey Jones

Rating: 4 out of 5


This is only the second Tim Burton film that I am reviewing for this blog, but I had reviewed several of his films in my previous film review blog. Tim Burton is one of my favorite directors. I just love the dark cinematography, the gothic atmosphere, the dark and dry humor of his films (and I also love the scores by Danny Elfman, who has composed the scores for most Burton films).

''Beetlejuice'' is not really a typical Tim Burton film. Here, there is no Gothic atmosphere, there is no gloomy feeling prevailing. Instead, it is completely a hilarious, absolutely funny film that, though not bearing some of the general Burtonsque features, is definitely one of the funniest films that he has directed. It's also the lightest and goofiest Tim Burton film that I have seen, and there is also a certain amount of warmth that I definitely loved.

Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara (Geena Davis) are a happy couple. When we first see them, their actions instantly give us the impression that they are deeply in love, that their lives are lovely, carefree, beautiful. They are on vacation, and they go happily for a drive... However, a tragedy strikes: they meet an accident, and their car falls into a river.

However, the very next moment, we see that Adam and Barbara have returned to their house, and try to warm themselves in front of a fireplace. Umm, have they actually survived the crash? The very next moment, we get the answer: they can't see their reflection in the mirror... Barbara notices a strange book, and when she points it out to Adam, he reads the title, ''Handbook of the Recently Diseased''. Barbara corrects him; the title is actually ''Handbook of the Recently Deceased''... and that means, they have died, and now they have returned to their house as ghosts. They can't even get out of the house, because when they try to go out, they end up in a strange desert filled with dangerous animals...

The house is soon sold, and a family moves into the house. The family consists of Mr Deetz, Mrs Deetz and their daughter (well, Mrs Deetz's stepdaughter), Lydia, played by a young Winona Ryder. Lydia always dresses in black, in a Gothic way, always dressing as if she is in mourning. It is apparent that she doesn't enjoy her life, and always remains depressed.

Adam and Barbara are really annoyed, because Mrs Deetz is making a lot of changes in the house. They decide to take the help of ''Beetleguise'' (Michael Keaton), a ''bio-exorcist''. However, they are warned that Beetleguise is a real troublemaker, and they decide not to call him, and decide to scare the Deetzes away from the house themselves. But Beetleguise is waiting to be called...

The film was indeed very light and hilarious! While I cannot say that I absolutely loved it, I definitely enjoyed it, very much!!! It kept me laughing (one of my favorite funny scenes is the one where Mrs Deetz and the guests start dancing around the dining table)! There was also a certain amount of warmth that I really appreciated. For example, the relationship between Adam and Barbara is really very touching. Also, the fondness that Barbara develops for Lydia is really very sweet and warm. I really loved the lightness, the humor of this movie. The cinematography and the score is noteworthy as well.

I couldn't really guess what the character of Beetlejuice can actually be called. A comedic villain? I don't think that ''villain'' is actually the word that would suit his character. He is a real troublemaker, that I absolutely agree with, and many of his actions could have had dangerous results, but, after all... I would rather say that he is a comedic troublemaker than a comedic villain. 

This is obviously not my favorite Tim Burton film (my favorite is still ''Big Fish''), but ''Beetlejuice'' is really a hilarious, entertaining funny film, perhaps even one of the lightest films that Burton has ever made!

4 out of 5

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