Tuesday, December 25, 2007

film - Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street


I wonder if this would have been a more powerful film if it wasn't a musical. At any rate, this film, based on a 1973 play, which itself is based on a 19th century legend. Still, the story is as powerful as a Shakespearian tradgedy and is superbly cast and acted.

Barber Benjamin Barker is exiled to Australia based on false charges, orchestrated by a corrupt judge who covets Barker's wife. Upon return several years later, he learns that his wife killed herself and that his then infant daughter was taken in by the corrupt judge. Assuming a new name, Sweeney Todd, the barber seeks out revenge against the judge but in the meantime, takes out his anger on citizens thus providing meat for his new partner, a meat pie baker.

The film is grim and dark, the calling card for director Tim Burton. Depp is excellent as the veangeful, out of control, barber and Helena Bonham-Carter is just as good as his partner in crime. I missed some of the dialogue and could have done without the singing, hence the film earns less than 5 stars from me.


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