Monday, December 24, 2007

Sweeney Todd

I love musicals but not Tim Burton. His movies tend to be too weird or strange for me. Therefore I had mixed feelings when I found out that Tim Burton was directing a musical. In order to stop this battle going on inside I decided to go see the movie to see once and for all if it was good or bad.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a classic musical that many Broadway aficionados have loved throughout the years. In the film, we are first introduced to Sweeney Todd after he has escaped from a wrongful imprisonment which he was sentenced to years ago by a corrupt judge whose motives were and are in no way pure. We see through a flashback that before his arrest he was a happy, upper-middle-class barber who loved his wife and baby daughter Joanna. However we are quickly brought back to the present to a changed man sailing back to his home and hopefully his wife and child. What happens next is full of interconnected stories that all lead to Sweeney Todd’s door while he delves deeper and deeper into his own madness.
I was surprised by my enjoyment of this movie. True it is a musical, which I love, but it is also a Tim Burton movie, which I am not such a big fan of. However, I was pleasantly surprised by my enjoyment of this movie. I think one of the strongest aspects of this film was casting. I thought the casting was extremely well done. Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd steps away from Captain Jack Sparrow and convinces the audience that he is a haunted man who is looking for revenge, and--he can sing. Helena Bonham Carter is also an excellent fit for Sweeney’s equally disturbed partner, Mrs. Lovett. Although some may claim that her singing was not up to snuff I think that is a very unfair judgment. I would like to see those people sing in a cockney accent and see if they end up sounding like Charlotte Church. Alan Rickman turns in a disturbing performance as Judge Turpin, the judge who is responsible for Sweeney’s current lot in life. Timothy Spall, who some may recognize as Wormtail from the world of Harry Potter, gives us a spot-on performance as a corrupt man who only takes the commands of Judge Turpin. Overall, the casting job was great.
This was an extremely bloody movie. Since this is a tale of man who goes mad with thoughts of revenge, I don’t think anyone should expect it to be a lovely little stroll in the park. If you can’t stand blood this is not the film for you. I am not that squeamish when it comes to movie gore sometimes, so I was able to handle this movie. The amount of blood that was shown to be spilt still diminished it in my eyes somewhat, but not too much.
This was a good movie. The actors did an excellent job, Tim Burton did not seem to go too crazy as I feel he does with most of his movies, and it was faithful the story. I never thought I would give a Tim Burton movie anything higher than a 2, but I give Sweeney Todd a 13. I did have to subtract some points for the bloody violence, which was a bit gross, but necessary for the story.


Dr. Worm said...

You mention that the bloodiness drops your rating some, which I understand. But you also mention that the bloodiness is necessary. So, I'm curious: Since bloodiness is necessary to the story, might you also dock points if it the movie was not bloody enough?

Your Racist Friend said...

I agree. It was gruesome, but not excessively so. Tim Burton could have made it a LOT worse....

CmdLuke said...

I liked the film quite a bit. I knew the basic story but wasn't didn't know much more about it. from the moment it began, it just seemed dark and twisted, which I love.
What a wonderful way to spend your holiday =)