By merely looking at the movie poster of the film, I was able to predict that Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of the Fleet Street is again a Johnny Depp-Tim Burton collaboration. The poster belches out a sense of gloom, bleakness and mystery, which generally constitute Burton’s personal style. I admire Tim Burton’s profundity and Johnny Depp’s brilliance, ergo it is my obligation as a fan to see their new offering.
Sweeney Todd offers an unusual pairing of horror, musical and dark humor. But Burton is able to execute it really well, of course with the help of the impressive actor Johnny Depp. The film is set in London, dark London that is, as the opening clips show us. The story begins with a series of flashbacks of Benjamin Parker’s bereaved past. He was arrested by Judge Turpin, who is played by the very salient Alan Rickman, for a crime he did not commit. As a result, he was sent away from London. After years of being away, he comes back with a new identity, Sweeney Todd who then seeks to revenge against Judge Turpin. This time, he’s not a man of refinement anymore, but a man who bears a likeness to Grim Reaper. Madness has gotten the hell out of his good side. As a form of revenge, he then establishes a barbershop which in the next minutes of the movie will turn into a murder spot.
This is definitely Tim Burton at his best, excellently executing everything from visual elements to music. The set designs, costumes and makeup are outstanding. They all successfully come in useful in building up the grim atmosphere of the movie. The film is also full of graphically disturbing moments, wherein almost everyone in the movie house would either cover their eyes or utter a heavy heave because of sheer disgust. But if you’re really squeamish, you can always do the first one. I also love how Burton injected humor in the film. It’s subtly interposed, but still element of grim is present. Johnny Depp is as always impressive. And the man can sing Sondheim score. His singing stint is not operatic, but it is nevertheless effective. Helene Bonham Carter who played as Mrs. Lovett also adds to the greatness of the movie. So does everybody else, from Alan Rickman to Sacha Baron Cohen.
Let me share you some of my thoughts after watching the movie.
1. What’s Borat doing in the film? Lol.
2. At one point, I felt like I was watching Harry Potter. There was one moment in the film when Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman and Timothy Spall all appeared simultaneously.
3. Sweeney Todd is more of a shaver, not barber. Lol.
4. Never watch this movie alone. Share the disgust with somebody. Also, never munch on a hamburger while watching. Don’t ask me why.