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Review: Sweeney Todd

January 31, 2008 on 9:15 am

Johnny Depp as Sweeney ToddAs I hadn’t been to the cinema in such a long time I decided to take my wife and see the first move that was on when we got there. It was Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

If you don’t know, it’s based on a Broadway musical by Stephen Sondheim. I hadn’t seen any trailers for this movie and I was taken aback when I realised that the movie was a musical too. However, the content is not what you would expect to see in a musical. You don’t often see a film’s genre listed as horror/musical. It is rated 18 in the UK and R in the US. And it is very,very gory.

Johnny Depp stars as Todd, a man scorned by the local judge, played by Alan Rickman. Todd’s “business partner” is Mrs Lovett, played by Helena Bonham Carter. I must says how strikingly similar they are to the puppets that they voice in another Tim Burton film, Corpse Bride. There is also a great appearance by Sacha Baron Cohen.
Mrs Lovett runs a meat pie shop and Todd, being the Demon Barber, slaughters his customers and provides her with the “meat.”

As a musical I thought it worked quite well. Initially it took some getting used to and at first I struggled to hear the words over the epic musical score. As I got used to it I really began to enjoy it. There is definitely more music in the first half of the film though.

It has an inevitable ending. But there is a little bit of romance to finish with too, which makes us think that all the throat slashing is worth it.

Don’t be turned off by this film just because it’s a musical. It is a great film. Some positive points to end on? Well, Nightmare Before Christmas had songs in it. And if that’s not enough of a positive? Cloverfield is out next week.

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