Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Movie killed some of the best parts of the production
I have been a huge Burton fan and an equally huge Depp fan - as well as have really liked Helena Bonham Carter. I also saw the Doyle production of Sweeney Todd five times - three times on Broadway and twice on tour (family in the cast), and I grew to love this show more and more every time I saw it.
I was really bothered as to how much Burton snuffed the life from this story. Mrs. Lovett is supposed to relay much of the humor that is needed to contrast the harsh actions and final tragedy. Carter's Lovett was completely humorless for the most part - not even any sarcasm. "Worst Pies in London" is a very funny song, but not in this movie. It was boring; she was boring and even looked bored throughout most of rest of the movie. Her acting is so off, I have trouble watching what was one of my favorite songs in the stage production. She even blew her many potentially humorous lines. She comes off as flat and lifeless instead of quirky and colorful. The song "A Little Priest" is supposed to be a goofy exchange between Lovett and Todd, but the movie shows it without emotion. They are making jokes and no one is laughing (not even the movie watchers).
Depp suffered from something I saw the Sweeney actor go through on Broadway. In the beginning, he was just angry throughout the whole show - angry, angry, angry. When I saw the show months later, and then months later again, I began to see degrees and types of anger manifest. Sweeney now had more depth, and he was so much more interesting to watch. Since Depp didn't have months and months to play the character over and over, I suppose I can't hold his lack of depth against him, and most people would probably never notice this anyway unless they saw the Broadway show more than once. Depp was a much more subdued Sweeney, but that is consistent with how subdued all of the characters are in the movie.
Last, the movie was harmfully bloody. The Broadway show used symbolism, lighting, sound and staging to show killing and death. This was all you needed. We knew he was killing people without blood spurting everywhere and close-ups. I understand a movie can be more real, but there is no use for showing so much detail on how the people die. In fact, it ruins the emotional build of Sweeney's tragedy that climaxes at the end. In the Broadway show, you are drawn in, and after the tragedy is revealed, you feel its impact. In the movie, you are so numb from all the gore that you remain numb for the ending. And if you don't feel for the tragic ending, what was the point of watching the story?
I know many people really liked the movie (although it seemed that what some people really liked the best had more to do with the genius of Sondheim). It is too bad that now others won't have an opportunity to see how great this story could be and has been told. At least you can still get the original stage production on DVD.