Based on the hit Broadway musical telling the tale of the infamous Benjamin Barker, a.k.a Sweeney Todd (Johnny Depp), who sets up a barber shop in ye olde London town.
Let me say from the outset that even I - as a self-confessed aficionado of music - was unprepared for the sheer volume of songs in this movie. That said, everyone acquitted themselves well, and yes - at times, Johnny Depp did produce shades of Bowie in his voice. For me, Helena Bonham-Carter was equally as good as Depp, if not the best thing in this movie. She seems to have come a long way in her range of characters since hooking up with Mr. Burton. Both leads clearly enjoyed themselves in what turned out to be a memorable and thought provoking film. People have said that this is a musical, but I actually felt that it was verging on opera. A couple of beautifully delicious twists at the end made for an experience as memorable as one of Mrs Lovatt's world-famous pies.
Let"s hope that you are watching this fully aware that it"s a musical; unlike some cinema-goers who, apparently not realising this fact, upped and left. Well, they missed a good film; it wasn"t a hit musical on stage for nothing, the music draws you down, down, and down into deepest darkest Gothic London, superbly so under Dariusz Wolski"s cinematography and the direction of Tim Burton.
Depp is mesmerising as Sweeney, there"s no other word for it. His ongoing pain at losing his wife silently screams from his eyes in every scene; very much deserved of his Oscar nomination for Best Actor.
You literally can"t take your eyes off him. By no means denigrating the performances of either Helena Bonham Carter, or the quality support from a terrific Sasha Baron Cohen, Alan Rickman and Timothy Spall, it"s Depp"s film.
Given that the character is out for vengeance, thinking nothing of slashing his barber shop customers" throats, he does have a whirlwind of bloody scenes with which to lead the film. So maybe not for the faint hearted, but you can always shut your eyes!
Bonham Carter, as Mrs Lovett - she of the famous pies made from dubious sources - fits right in here; her unrequited love for the Demon Barber is identifiable agony, and all but the hardest (or luckiest!) of hearts will palpably feel her despair.
The songs drive the story along; once again Depp is in a league of his own here; not being a conventional or "professional" singer, some critics pinned this neatly as being like David Bowie and/or Anthony Newley (which to be fair I can see), but that"s too dismissive of a wonderful vocal performance, some of which will pleasantly haunt you for days.
One of (if not) The best of Johnny depp's performances ever.
He truly encapsulates the part, drawing you into the dark streets of old London town, where all of society rich and poor lived. from thieves and beggers to the likes of gentry,lawyers
judges and priests.
The story it told through the unusual but very pleasant form of song. (some can be so infectious you just can get the tune, out of you head!)
it begins with Benjamin barker(Sweeney todds former name)with his pretty blonde wife & baby daughter in a market place. where he gets arrested by the bow street runners (the newly formed police force)he is sent to Australia by the Judge Turpin on a false charge for a crime he did not commit.
The story then continues with Mr Todd returning to London on a clipper ship sailing up the Thames.
When he disembarks he finds his way to the area where he live with Lucy (his wife)he enters an empty pie shop owned by Mrs Lovett.who, it seems has not had a customer for quiet some time!(probably due to the cockroaches running over the tables and floors.)
he then discovers that the flat above the shop is still unoccupied.(after 15 years)she claims it was due to it being hunted, but Todd takes occupancy never the less.
after finding out his true identity she hands him a box which holds a set of silver plated (cut-throat) razors.
(sorry, but now you know why they are called this!)
they strike up a weird but mutual friendship and start to discover that they could help each other in their own very different ways.
I wont give the whole plot away, but Sweeney's companion on the ship, a young boy sailor, falls in love with a blonde haired pretty young girl called Johanna, who it turns out is being looked after by none other than Judge Turpin.
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Tim Burton's film version of the Stephen Sondheim musical starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. Based on a 'penny dreadful' tale (which later became an urban myth) from the mid-19th Century, this musical tells the tale of Benjamin Barker (Depp), a barber who returns to London after spending years in exile for a crime he didn't commit. He soon discovers from pie-maker Mrs Lovett (Bonham Carter) that, in his absence, his wife has taken her own life and his daughter is now in the care of the man who had him sent away - the dastardly Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman). Seeking revenge and filled with a murderous rage, Barker sets up a barber's shop above Mrs Lovett's premises. Now calling himself Sweeney Todd, Barker kills off all his customers with a razor to the throat and sends their cadavers to the shop below to be used as a tasty new filling for Mrs Lovett's meat pies. What was once the worst pie shop in London quickly becomes one of the city's most popular eateries, but Barker won't be satisfied until he can lure Judge Turpin into the barber's chair...