Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

Johnny Depp and Tim Burton team up again to bring us the musical, Sweeney Todd, about falsely imprisoned barber Benjamin Barker who decides to take revenge after his release, targeting those responsible for sending him to prison.

Barker returns to town as Sweeney Todd and visits his old home in hopes of finding his wife and daughter.  Instead he finds Mrs. Lovett, owner of a shop that specializes in meat pies.

After calling out a traveling salesman/barber named Pirellis who is plying the crowd with questionable elixir, Todd wins a quick shave contest against him.  Mrs. Lovett suggests Todd open a barber shop in the space above her shop, which works into Todd's plan for vengeance.

When Pirellis shows up and tries to blackmail him because he knows Todd is really Barker, Todd decides the only option is murder.  Mrs. Lovett, who is looking after Pirelli's young ward, is horrified at the murder, but then considers this a viable option to the meat she's been using since it's expensive.  Good god!

It's a good story, the acting is excellent, and the sets look fantastic. The cinematography was nicely done and I liked the overall feel of it. I also discovered I don't particularly like musicals and found myself wanting to fast forward through the songs (but I didn't.)  I can deal with musicals like Oliver (1960s version of Oliver Twist starring Jack Wild) or Grease, but overall it's not my thing.  That being said, I still liked this as it was well done.

And how can you not like a movie with Johnny Depp slitting peoples throats, and pulling a lever on his barber chair which unceremoniously tilts back the chair and dumps the victim into the basement. Gross and cool at the same time.

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