Review: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Starring: Johnny Depp, Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen, Laura Michelle Kelly
Directed By: Tim Burton
DreamWorks-Paramount and Warner Bros have teamed up to produce The Demon Barber of Fleet Street which some critics refer to as a “bloody wonderful” screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s grotesque theatrical musical.
Sweeney Todd is a typical Tim Burton-style picture and the director has yet again teamed up with close friend Johnny Depp and partner, Helena Bonham Carter to produce this musical horror. Depp and Bonham Carter are often recurring cast members in Burton films.
The demon barber was a popular city legend in the 1850s before it was transformed into a play, then into an epic musical. Its story is about a London barber named Benjamin Barker (Johnny Depp) whose life is taken away from him by the despicable Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman) who desires Barker’s beautiful wife for himself. The barber is unfairly sentenced to serve extensive jail time.
Years later Barker escapes from his prison and returns to dark and dodgy Dickensian London, only to find out that his beloved wife had poisoned herself and that his daughter Johanna (Jayne Wisner) is now the judge’s ward.
Barker is consumed by the thought of revenge; he changes his name to Sweeney Todd and sets up his business again in his old barber shop that is situated above Mrs Lovett’s (Helena Bonham Carter) pub. After the disposal of rival Adolfo Pirelli (Sacha Baron Cohen), Sweeney Todd and Mrs Lovett come to a business arrangement, a very innovative merger that provides a direct connection between the barber’s chair and the pie maker’s oven.
The movie is very monochromatic depicting gloomy conditions with rats and sewers and the like except for the “By the Sea” scene which provides a relief from the gloom for a few minutes.
An odd mix of musical and horror is well balanced throughout, however from...