While growing up, I always felt kind of separated from my siblings. We all got along great,
but my siblings loved musicals. Being the nerd in the family, I didn't really care for
musicals. I didn't mind watching them, but if I had the choice, I probably would not watch a
three hour stage production. So when my brother asked me if I wanted to tag along to see
"Sweeney Todd," I was a little hesitant at first. After watching the movie, I can tell you that
this is a film that should be loved by both musical buffs, and just movie lovers.
The movie starts off with a ship heading towards a London pier. We see Anthony (Jamie
Campbell Bower) singing about how great of a city London is. Joining Anthony is Sweeney
Todd (Johnny Depp), singing about how all the scum of the earth come to a city, named
London. After the song, Anthony asks Todd why he hates London so much. We learn that
Sweeney Todd used to be named Benjamin Barker, a successful barber whose barber shop
was above Mrs. Lovett's meat pie shop. He was also married to one of the most beautiful
woman in London. But Sweeney Todd was not the only person who noticed that his wife,
Lucy (Laura Michelle Kelly), was beautiful. The corrupt Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman) also
notices, and banishes Sweeney Todd from the city on false charges. After unsuccessful
attempts to get Lucy to fall in love with him, Judge Turpin decides to make Sweeney Todd's
daughter his ward.
After arriving back in London, Sweeney Todd meets Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter) in
her meat pie shop. She tells Sweeney that her meat pies are the worst in London, and she
knows it. But since times are tough, she can't afford fresh meat. While Sweeney and Mrs.
Lovett converse, she realizes that Sweeney is actually Benjamin Barker, and tells him that
Lucy had poisoned herself after he was banished. After he finds this out, he is enraged, and
wants to get revenge on the entire city. To do so, opens his barber shop back up, and while
giving men a shave he cuts the throats of customers. Because fresh meat is so hard to
come by, and Sweeney must do something with the bodies, he builds a trap door that sends
the bodies down to the basement, and Mrs. Lovett uses the meat from the dead bodies as
the filling for her pies. Sweeney's ultimate goal is to get revenge on Judge Turpin, but
before he can get his hands on Judge Turpin, Mr. Todd goes on a killing spree to suppress
his anger. Meanwhile, Anthony is trying to get Sweeney's daughter, Johanna (Jane Wisener)
out of the custody of Judge Turpin, and wants to take her away on a ship.
Overall the story is very intriguing. Going into the movie, the only thing I knew was
Sweeney Todd killed people and Mrs. Lovett used the dead bodies as filling for her meat
pies. But the movie does a great job of setting up the story, and it moves at a decent pace.
There are a few moments where the movie drags, but it only does so to set up another
violent or up-beat scene.
Being a musical, the music is probably the most important part. While the movie isn't
chalked full of professional singers, the actors do a great job of singing. The performances
by Depp and Carter are great. While they aren't the best singers, they aren't the worst
either. I think it gives it a more realistic feel to the movie by not having professional
singers. It made the movie more interesting as well. The musical also features great songs.
My personal favorite is "Epiphany." I think it is Depp's best performance in the movie, plus
it is basically the beginning of his killing spree. I don't think that anyone will be disappointed
by the musical performances by the actors.
Being a movie directed by Tim Burton, the film features some great filmography. The first
thing that you will notice about the film is that it is a very dark movie. There are a lot of
brown, black, and grey everywhere. It definitely adds to the story, since the story is pretty
depressing. There is a few times during the film where Burton adds bright colors to the
scene. One is when Mrs. Lovett is having a dream about marrying Sweeney Todd. It is a
beautiful shot when Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett are walking on an ocean walk. The ocean is
bright blue, the sky is bright, and all the colors are brought out. It is a really neat scene.
Another area where color is abundant is during the killings. The blood effect that is in the
movie is a brighter red. And trust me, there is a lot of blood. For being a musical, "Sweeney
Todd" is one of the most gruesome movies I have ever seen. Not only is there an abundant
of blood, but Burton does not censor anything when Sweeney is cutting the throat of his
victims. The camera is very close to the neck, and you see everything. This is no movie to
take children to. But there is something about the killings that make them interesting. I'm
not a violent man, but I did not find the killings over the top, they looked gruesome, like
they should. But this is about a man getting revenge on his enemies, so you are kind of
glad to see these evil men get killed, even though Sweeney Todd is kind of evil himself.
"Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber on Fleet Street" is an excellent movie that should not
be missed by many, if you have the stomach for it. Tim Burton does a great job bringing
the musical to the big screen. You are never confused by the plot, there is action, romance,
comedy, everything you could want from a movie. Plus the musical numbers are
outstanding. This is a great weekend movie, and I suggest everyone who enjoys musicals
or movies to go see "Sweeney Todd." I give it 3.5 Dtoid heads out of 4