Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) - Fantastic Depp!

Yes, I'm sorry to all you guys that hate horror musicals. Some people argue that musicals shouldn't even be associated with horror. I completely agree, however with the famous Johnny Depp in this film, I couldn't turn it down. After not expecting a lot from this film, I loved it. The acting was incredible, as was the gore content.
One of my favourite actors - Johnny Depp - was in the cast as well as one of my favourite actresses - Helena Carter - who is well known for the Harry Potter franchise. For me, this film should be well known for the remarkable acting. As you see, it earned fantastic reviews:

  • IMDB - 7.5/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes - 86%
  • Metacritic - 83%
Just look at those reviews! Especially from Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. Please give this film a watch folks if you haven't seen it. If you don't like musicals, just bear through it because the actual film aside the singing is remarkable.

The film plot in my opinion was very well thought out and reflects the true story of Sweeney Todd who killed his customers as a barber and used their body components for meat in pies. It lasts roughly 116 minutes and is directed by Tim Burton. In the Victorian London, the barber Benjamin Barker (Johnny Depp) is married to the gorgeous Lucy (Laura Michelle Kelly) and they have a lovely child, Johanna (Jayne Wisener). The beauty of Lucy attracts the attention of the corrupt Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman), who falsely accuses the barber of a crime that he did not commit and abuses Lucy later after gaining custody of her. After fifteen years in exile, Benjamin returns to London under the new identity of Sweeney Todd, seeking revenge against Turpin. He meets the widow Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter) who is the owner of a meat pie shop who tells him that Lucy swallowed arsenic many years ago, and Turpin assigned himself tutor of Johanna. He opens a barber shop above her store, initiating a crime rampage against those who made him suffer and lose his beloved family. 

As I have already said, the acting in this film is exceptional, which you would probably expect from a musical. Johnny Depp was the perfect man for the role of Sweeney Todd, as he recklessly slashed victims coming into his saloon. Aside Depp, you have the sweet Mrs. Lovett who works in the pie shop. I loved the idea of them both uniting together to increase the efficiency of making their pies although it was quite a disturbing idea. The film is also generally tense in many areas, typically towards the end where the music is kept at a minimum. The gore levels are nicely set to provide a clear contrast to the singing, and of course, the film is concluded with an exceptional twist. I won't spoil it for you guys as many of you have probably not went near this film since it's a musical.

I wouldn't say there were many weak points in this film apart from all the singing. Most of the musical moments arrive with a depressing tone or atmosphere though, as Benjamin commonly sings with frustration proving his desire for vengeance. Although, there are a few awkward singing moments in the film that ruin it slightly as it tries to adopt a cheery tone, which certainly would not work with this movie.

Overall, I feel the musical aspects of this horror or slasher film can be ignored and outweighed by the gore, intense atmosphere, and amazing acting. Johnny Depp certainly perfects his role as Sweeney Todd as he is a very aggressive and dull man for the majority of the film. What is also interesting about it, is that there seems to be a strange relationship which develops between Benjamin and Mrs. Lovett, although Todd still seems very grim. Please give it a watch guys, even if you despise musicals.

Overall Rating - 8/10

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