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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sweeney Todd

****½ Sweeney Todd. Horror/musical.

Directed by Tim Burton.
Starring: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman,

Carl and I saw this at the Hercules by ourselves. Although we were apparently in the minority in thinking it wasn't appropriate for the kids. I was a little disturbed by the number of 5 - 10 year-olds in the audience.

Maybe their parents were all, like me, mostly unaware of the plot (though the R rating is a hint, as is the subtitle "the Demon Barber"). I hadn't even realized it was a musical. I'm so out of touch sometimes.

Anyway. Sweeney Todd (Johnny Depp) used to be a happily married barber named Benjamin Barker, until Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman) gets him transported to Australia on a trumped-up charge to get Barker's wife for himself. She then poisons herself in despair, and their daughter Johanna becomes the judge's ward.

Now Barker is back, rechristened as Sweeney Todd. He reconnects with old friend Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter) and prepares to reopen a barbershop. When his identity is discovered by rival barber Pirelli (Sacha Baron Cohen), he kills him, and Mrs. Lovett uses the body for meat pies in her shop... which becomes very popular, and the two of them go on a killing and baking spree, intended to culminate in the murder of Judge Turpin.

This is very dark humor--typical Tim Burton--but somehow it works, and you're simultaneously horrified and amused. And of course, it is a musical, and the songs are great.

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I knew that it was going to be comedy with musicals in them. But I didn't know it also a dark humor kind.

Almost went to see this movie with Trish, but we changed our mind and saw something else.

Great movie review, and am looking forward to see Indiana Jones movie. And Batman too this summer :)
We just saw this last night. I thought it was quite good as well. My husband hates musicals but didn't balk at the singing in this one - go figure. It's very very bloody, though. Similar to Ran....
The original Broadway cast has Angela Lansbury in it -- it's hard for me and theVet to reconcile the sweet-voiced Mrs. Potts of Beauty and the Beast with the deceptive Mrs. Lovett, singing about rival pie shops and missing cats. I like the songs; theVet prefers something more upbeat, but regardless, the DVD is in our pile-to-be-watched (toss-up between Juno and Sweeney Todd over this last weekend).
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