Thursday, 13 June 2013
Review - Sweeny Todd
Sweeney Todd - Based off a story of the 1800's which is now been made into a live Broadway musical. The infamous story of Benjamin Barker,(Sweeney Todd), who sets out to get revenge for his wife and daughter against the man who ruined his life. He reopens up his barber shop in London which is the basis for a sinister partnership with his fellow tenant, Mrs. Lovett.
Welcome to the next film review by Dr Film. today I am reviewing Tim Burton's interpretation on the hit Broadway musical 'Sweeny Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street' a story I am very found of. I do love chilling stories set in the Victorian Gaslight streets of London, it really sets a mood.
This film came to the USA on the 21st of December 2007 and was released to the UK on the 25th of January 2008. It is now available to watch on DVD, Blu-Ray and you can download it off Itunes as well.
SPOILER ALERT: Before I begin this review, I should say that there will be some spoilers revealed throughout this review. so If you don't like things being spoiled, you should probably turn away now.
There have been many versions of this story come in and out over the years, I think it's hard for the average person to have a clear identification as to what is the version for them, is it this film? by Tim Burton. The Stage Show? Other films which have been made previous? you can't call it. It's like with Les Mis, There isn't an ideal version, there's just so many. I think the viewer can make their mind up as to what they prefer. Obviously you have limitations in the theatre and a film's setting is far more precise, but a stage show can do things a film can't so I just wanted to make that point clear, what ever version of 'Sweeney Todd' you prefer that's the ideal version for you.
Speaking as a viewer who hasn't seen the stage show, I've only seen this film, I can only base my opinion of the story, based on this film.
The Story is set in the Victorian London, the barber Benjamin Barker (Johnny Depp) is married to the gorgeous Lucy and they have a lovely child, Johanna. 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 on an Island far far away, Benjamin returns to London under the new identity of Sweeney Todd, seeking a dark hate filled revenge against Turpin.
He meets a widow Mrs. Lovett who is now the owner of her husband's meat pie shop who tells him that Lucy killed herself by swallowing some arsenic many years ago. and Turpin assigned himself guardian of Johanna (Jayne Wisener). He re-opens his barber shop above her store, initiating a crime rampage against those who made him suffer and lose his beloved family.
I'll be as blunt as I can, I didn't know anything about the story until I watched this film, as a piece I found it quite mellow, and dark and earery. that's not neccacarly a bad thing, there was definitely something very chilling about it, but I think that's the cleverness of it. I think it's cleverly directed and thorough as a film.
I thought Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd was just fantastic, he has an immensely good singing voice, and him as a leading role is nothing much of a surprise, because when he's in the spotlight he always tends to deliver.
Helena Bonham Carter, I feel did a much better job in this film as apposed to her slightly overtly comedic character in 'Les Miserable', she stood out. She was sinister, she grew affectionate towards her business partner, so much so in fact she was determined to have him all to herself.
Alan Rickman, was really good, doesn't have a bad singing voice, there were times were he was a little wooden. but that doesn't fault his performance in the slightest.
Timothy Spall was good as well, you can tell Tim Burton casted this really well, he knew exactly who could do what. and excel on their delivery.
You also got Jamie Bower as Anthony who forms a loving affection for Johanna, he has a very strong singing voice, I thought he was really good.
Jayne Wisener plays Johanna, I know her from an episode of 'The Inbetweeners' one might judge her as not having a very good voice, her performance was over rated. though I know everyone is in titled to her opinion, saying that Jayne Wisener's performance was over the top is a bit unfair, especially for her.
Fans of the stage show, will not be disappointed, this film contains pretty much all the songs from the original musical. So there is something to be familiar with as far as that is concerned. I thought all the sets and costumes were wonderful, it was a big task to pull off, and I thought the whole thing was executed quite well.
Overall 'Sweeney Todd' is a black comedy with good sense of atmosphere, the songs do drag out a bit but they're a vital part of the story, so you can't dismiss them unfortunately.
I'm going to give it a 7.5/10
1 Gold Star to Johnny Depp
1 Gold Star to Helena Bohnam Carter
Thank you for reading this review
My next review will be 'Anchorman - The Legend of Ron Burgendy' starring Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and David Koechne
I will post that review on Friday the 14th of June 2013.