couple years later I heard that Tim Burton was at the helm of Sweeney
Todd and I am glad he was the choice. In the special features of this
DVD you will find out that Tim Burton hates movies and Johnny Depp had
absolutely no experience singing. In all honesty they both gained my
respect for taking a risk with a project like this.
Depp stars as the title character Sweeney Todd, a vengeful barber that
comes back to London after being unjustly put away for 15 long years.
Back when Todd was known as the talented barber Benjamin Barker, a man
took his life away from him. He has no clue what happened to his wife
or his child. The one thing he is sure of is getting revenge by slitting
Judge Turpin’s (Alan Rickman in a great villain performance) throat.
Judge Turpin tried to court Barker’s wife Lucy but to no avail and
in one flashback scene he assaulted her (or at least it seemed that
way). When Depp meets the pie shop owner Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham
Carter) he finds out that his wife Lucy poisoned herself.
movie moves along from song to song and I have to admit that Barker’s
daughter Johanna is sang about a little too much throughout the film.
She is locked in an upstairs bedroom in Turpin’s home. While she is
doing her humming bird showcasing, she caught the eye of Anthony, the
sailer that brought Todd back to Fleet Street in the first place. Anthony
falls in love instantly with her but gets caught spying on Johanna by
Judge Turpin. Judge Turpin is a sick man being that he now wants to
bang his foster daughter Johanna. There is not a good quality about
Turpin or his right hand man Beadle Bamford. They both try to scare
Anthony away with death threats and a beat down but Anthony is a persistent
fellow. He is actually a creep because he sings a song called “I’ll
Steal You”. Johanna has already been stolen enough!
Todd’s #1 priority is setting up shop about Mrs. Lovett’s grotesque
pie shop to eventually attract Turpin to get a very close shave. The
film takes a while to get to that point and there are some teases in
between. As far as the songs in the film, my favorite is “My Friends”
that features Johnny Depp singing beautifully about making his enemies
drip rubies! During this song Mrs. Lovett shows her affection towards
Todd while Sweeney is dead focused on his straight razors. I loved how
their lyrics intertwined while having different meanings. Eventually
they sang the same words and harmonized perfectly.
truly hope people open their mind to the musical because this story
is truly classic. It has elements of revenge, splatter films and a look
you would expect from Tim Burton. Some of the music is repetitive but
everything serves the story and only involves the central characters.
For those that love the Ali G Show, expect a scene stealing scene by
Sacha Baron Cohen as the new hot shot barber of Fleet Street. He was
one of the first victims but he sang his heart out. He tried to blackmail
Todd but winded up inspiration for Todd and Lovett’s downstairs business
of human meat pies. So for those who shun this film for having musical
numbers, understand that this film is a cannibal film also! By the end
of this film you will see over a dozen throats slashed and a satisfying
climax. Some of the story is predictable but all the characters are
delivered pitch perfect by the actors…pun intended.
Todd lets his revenge get the best of him by the time the chilling ending
occurs. He also gets mixed up with a young boy that never quite trusts
him. Todd never paid attention to how much Lovett loved him and the
certain things she might hide from him. Although she keeps one major
secret from Todd she still tried her hardest to keep him safe. Even
if that means locking the boy in the pie shop basement where all Todd’s
victims fall head first on concrete to their throat slit demised. This
is right after they sing songs about protecting eachother for five minutes.
As soon as the boy threatens to turn Todd in , she turns on the boy!
film is just flat out a good movie and I catch myself humming the tunes
all the time. At times I had to watch the film in closed caption in
order to be able to tell what Helena Bonham Carter was singing. Still
I think she is what held the film together as she had so many things
to work with. She played a loyal friend, the women that loved Todd and
she was protective. She really looked like she loved Depp as she was
a very lonely women who needed someone to walk into her life.
Depp goes from vengeful barber to all out serial killer maniac just feeding his bloodlust. Eventually he gets back to his task while his sailor buddy is more focused on saving Johanna. Turpin is the kind of villain you’ll love to see die and Mrs. Lovett serves Todd’s victims to the public. I think this movie and the play mixes two things you wont see much, Musical and Horror with necks squirting blood like a Miike film. This film should be enjoyed by fans of “Count of Monte Cristo” while being a great companion piece to Depp’s “From Hell” in which he goes after Jack the Ripper. Tons of credit needs to be given to Stephen Sonheim for coming up with the musical and for being on board to help out with this film!