“The eyes are the windows to the soul.”
Tim Burton’s Big Eyes focuses on the deception and fraud built upon a marriage between Margaret and Walter Keane. Eyes are a huge focus in this movie, as Burton explores a ten-year hoax in which Walter Keane took full credit for his wife’s paintings, which depict children with very large, deep eyes.
Margaret is the first to state that “the eyes are the windows to the soul”, only to have her husband state the exact same thing during an interview where he attempts to explain his supposed “inspiration” for these paintings. However, this quote has much more meaning coming from the mouth of Margaret as opposed to Walter.
Similarly, the quote itself can represent the difference between Margaret and Walter, along with their intentions. Describing the eyes as a metaphor of the soul, it can be seen in the paintings the intense emotion and passion inside Margaret’s soul through each one of her Big Eyes portraits. In comparison, every supposed painting composed by Walter is simply a stolen work from another artist. This quote means nothing coming from him, just as if you were to peer into his eyes it would most likely be blank and emotionless, feeding off of the intense passion of others.
Although this quote is short, it is certainly effective. It sets the tone for the whole movie, as we, as the readers, must be able to peer through the windows, or eyes, of the characters in order to see their real intentions. Burton does an excellent job at executing the importance of the symbolism of eyes in this great representation of the Big Eyes hoax.