Monday, 5 May 2008

Sweeney Todd

Sweeney Todd
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street, is a Gothic horror musical directed by Tim Burton. It stars Burton's regular alter ego, Johnny Depp, and co-stars Burton's partner, Helena Bonham Carter. (Depp and Bonham Carter both also starred in Burton's Charlie & The Chocolate Factory and Corpse Bride.)

Sweeney Todd was adapted from a Broadway musical, and it does feel quite stagey at times. I'm not especially a musicals fan, and the songs in this film haven't won me over. The production design, acting, and direction are all excellent, however. London is much more convincingly realised than in Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, and Depp and Bonham Carter's characters both have suitably pallid complexions. Of the supporting cast, Alan Rickman and Timothy Spall play according to type but do so superbly.

When Depp first holds his cut-throat razor, we recall Edward Scissorhands, and the similarity is increased due to Sweeney and Edward's equally wild hair (shared by Burton himself). Sweeney is a less sympathetic or misunderstood character than Depp's other roles for Burton, though, despite the Grand Guignol-style tragic climax.

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