As I was leaving the screening of Sweeney Todd, my mind was swirling with those silly, cliche comments often seen accompanying ads for critically acclaimed movies: "Sweeney Todd is .
As I was leaving the screening of Sweeney Todd, my mind was swirling with those silly, cliche comments often seen accompanying ads for critically acclaimed movies: "Sweeney Todd is . . . a visual masterpiece!" "Another Burton beauty!" "A tale of blood and woe — woah!" I'll spare you the rest. The bottom line is that I was impressed. And nauseated. But mostly impressed.
The Stephen Sondheim musical and Tim Burton are a match made in heaven. Burton's dark, sinister-looking scenery and the bloody, musical horrorfest of a story gel together seamlessly to create something so lushly gory — but heartfelt — you may need to dry heave a little bit.
The story follows Benjamin Barker (Johnny Depp), a young man wrongfully imprisoned because the evil Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman) was obsessed with Barker's wife Lucy (Laura Michelle Kelly) and wanted her for himself. Years later when Barker returns to London, he renames himself Sweeney Todd and opens up a barber shop above Mrs. Lovett's (Helena Bonham Carter) meat pie shop, hoping to exact revenge on the judge by luring him in for a shave and then slitting his throat. For his part, Judge Turpin has been keeping Todd's daughter Joanna as his ward. Yet when a young friend of Todd's falls in love with Joanna by spotting her at her window, he determines to break her free from the Judge's grasp. Meanwhile, Mrs. Lovett and Sweeney Todd figure out a gruesome way to boost her meat pie sales. Those are basic plot points, but there's much more to say about Sweeney Todd, so read more