Everyone Has Demons in “Sweeney Todd”

22 04 2008

Sweeney Todd Movie Poster

“Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street” Review

Starring: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman and Sacha Baron Cohen

Halfway through Tim Burton’s adaptation of the stage musical “Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” there is a magnificent scene in which bright colors and whimsical sets are enhanced by a hopeful melody. The scene provided a nice break from the rest of the film, which consisted mostly of grimacing glares from Johnny Depp’s interpretation of the title character and scenes in which he directs his grimaces at potential victims before unscrupulously cutting their throats. This man wants revenge, and for good reason. He has been severely wronged by a man who possesses not a single admirable quality as a human being, yet predictably has the authority to torment others as he pleases. Todd lives in Burton’s perpetually gloomy and poverty-stricken Victorian London where his first meal upon returning to the city after nearly 15 years of exile is a lumpy meatpie which may or may not contain the remains of a butchered cockroach. There is no doubt that Todd has reason to be bitter. But Depp’s character is so paralyzed by hatred that we hardly believe his vengeance is an act of his own free will. Instead, he seems all too easily swayed by his conniving cohort Mrs. Lovett. Curiously, though Todd’s intentions are made clear from the opening number, we are never certain what exactly Mrs. Lovett’s murderous motives may be, for we are sure there must be a better way to make meat pies.

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp made a memorable team as director and actor in the 1990 film “Edward Scissorhands,” a fascinating example of Burton’s quirky directorial style and Depp’s versatility and quiet intrigue as an actor. “Sweeney Todd” is like a sequel film in that it tries to capitalize on something that was exceptional to begin with but cannot manage to duplicate the original magic, as so many sequels fail to do.

♦♦

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23 04 2008
“Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street” Review | FlickWatcher.com

[…] Stinger article, brought to you using rss feeds. I found it informative and I think you will too.Here’s some of the article “Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street” Review Starring: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman and Sacha Baron Cohen Halfway through Tim Burton’s adaptation of the stage musical “Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” there is a magnificent scene in which bright colors and whimsical sets are enhanced by a hopeful melody. The scene provided a nice break from the rest of the film, which consisted mostly of grimacing glares from Johnny Depp’s interpretation of the title character and scenes in which he directs his grimaces at potential victims before unscrupulously cutting their throats. This man wants revenge, and for good reason. He has been severely wronged by a man who possesses not a single admirable quality as a human being, yet predictably has the authority to torment others as he pleases. Todd lives in Burton’s perpetually gloomy and poverty-stricken Victorian London where his first meal upon returning to the […] […]

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