Sunday, July 15, 2018

10 Days Of Horror (day Four)

by Dude Poole (writer), Hilliard, October 27, 2008

Review of Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street

So I saw a live play version of this story in Chicago some years back, and I have been hesitant to see the movie for fear that I would not be able to enjoy it due to a bias from my younger years of seeing it on stage. My memories of Sweeney Todd on stage is not only a great memory, but it is how I lost my virginity to stage productions. So as they say, you always remember your first.

The one bright point that has always attracted me to the film version was that it was being done by Tim Burton (and we would get to hear Johnny Depp and Sacha Cohen sing). I thought that if anyone could capture the mood of the and translate it to the silver screen, it could only be Burton.

Much to my surprise, the movie is rather enjoyable, and also captures the original emotion that I remember from the play. Burton brings his signature sets and darkness to the play in a way that makes you feel like the story was written to be made by him specifically.

As would be expected, Johnny Depp immerses himself into the role of Sweeney Todd, the barber that was wrongly convicted by a judge that had plans for his wife. Once returned from exile, Todd comes to find that his wife has poisoned herself, launching Todd into a plan for revenge that would lead to a lot of slit throats and meat pies. I couldn't help but eat a shepherd's pie immediately following the movie. The other actors/actresses in the film are just as good at selling their roles. Helena Bonham Carter and Alan Rickman are both very convincing in their interpretations as Mrs Lovett and the Judge respectively. Sacha Baron Cohen casts off his comical leash and gets the opportunity to show off his acting chops. Even though his role is short-lived (literally), he shines as the over-the-top street peddling barber.

Without giving too much away for the sake of those that have not seen the movie, I will not go too deeply into the spoiling of the plot. I will just highly recommend this movie to all that would like to see a musical horror movie (not that it isn't a bit of a contradiction from the realm of Hollywood) over this spooky holiday season. Just know that you are going to get the Burton and Depp that you have come to expect, and while some of the original material from the musical is cut (I assume for the sake of time, since the movie comes in just over 2 hours long), be sure that this version is a loyal, albeit fantastic, representation of the Sondheim original.

See Reviews for the movie Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street

About the Writer

Dude Poole is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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