Sweeney Todd


sweeney todd posterLast weekend, I dragged a reluctant Mark out to see Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. A macabre musical directed by Tim Burton, starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. Seeing that is a no-brainer!

And, true to form, I loved it. The music was not amazing, and neither Depp or Bonham Carter should give up their day job to become a musician, but it wasn't bad, either. The look of the film was amazing. I kept flashing back to my very favorite Burton film (and one of my favorite films ever) Edward Scissorhands, particularly whenever Depp's character, the demon barber, had his razors in his hands.

The supporting cast was not as strong as I'd have liked it to be. Sasha Baron Cohen, as rival barber Signor Adolfo Pirelli (a character played completely for comic relief), was Mark's favorite part of the film, but he bugged the crap out of me. And, sadly, the film didn't make near the use it could have of my very favorite villain of all time, Alan Rickman (though once you've been Snape, really, what else can you do?). I was also not a fan of the film's waif-boy character, Toby, played by Ed Sanders, or the lovestruck sailor Anthony Hope, played by Jamie Campbell Bower (was he supposed to look like a young Johnny Depp? If so, they could have done better). The one supporting role that was well-filled was the Beadle, who was played by Timothy Spall, who you'll remember as Harry Potter's Wormtail. He was so horribly creepy, which worked so well for the film.

So other than the film's general look, including the costumes and make-up (and especially Bonham Carter's--she looked eerily fabulous), why did I like it? Because I thought it was freaking hysterical. Every time Johnny Depp cut someone's throat with his razors and a bright red geyser shot out, I laughed. The song Depp and Bonham Carter sang about baking bodies into meat pies to sell to Londoners? Comic genius. ("For what's the sound of the world out there?/Those crunching noises pervading the air!/It's man devouring man, my dear!/Then who are we to deny it in here?")

But if you don't like Burton in general, you aren't going to like this. My parents-not-in-law, who for some reason saw the previews and expected a nice musical (like what, Cats?) very definitely did not like it. And neither did Mark, who thought it was ridiculous, overdone, and annoying.

But me? Best thing Burton's made since Big Fish, Depp since Fear and Loathing, Bonham Carter since Fight Club. Loved. It.

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April 2012

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