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A Well Done and Exciting Film
Just about everything, from the look of the movie to the actors' singing voices, is paid meticulous attention to. The result is a film both visually stunning and musically spectacular.
Tim Burton's style of directing shines through, and I believe that he is the only one who could bring such a potentially disturbing plot to life in a film. His Sweeney Todd is set in a very dark and dirty London, with equally dark and dirty characters. The protagonist is Sweeney Todd (previously known as Benjamin Barker), who is played powerfully by Johnny Depp. Though he does not sound like an operatic or Broadway singer, his voice has a rough edge to it that allows the audience to both feel Sweeney's rage and still enjoy his singing. His expressions, which show various shades of anger and depression are both tragic and humorous at times.
Helena Bonham Carter plays Mrs. Lovett, who is hopelessly in love with Todd. While her voice is not the greatest in the film, Carter makes up for it with excellent acting. Alan Rickman plays Judge Turpin in a deliciously sinister way, and he literally sends chills up the spine. His character ruins Todd's family, and as a result he is the center for Todd's plans of revenge.
The film is mostly in black and white sepia type tones, with splashes of color every now and then (such as the character Signor Pirelli, played hilariously by Sacha Baron Cohen). It is very fast paced, so the audience member is never bored and feels as if he/she moves with the story to its conclusion. The blood (and there are buckets of it), appears often and absolutely gushes. To some, this may appear unnecessary, but I felt that it added an extra element of horror to the film, and even looked artistic at times.
One criticism that I have of it is the distance I felt from the subplot of Anthony and Johanna. These two young lovers are the innocence much needed in such a dark film, however I felt somewhat removed from their story. But this does not detract very much from the film, and their voices are superb. Another innocent character is Toby, played well by Ed Sanders, who also has an amazing voice.
It should be mentioned that the film is not for everyone. If blood makes you queasy and your eyes tend to roll when characters sing, this is not the film for you. Overall, however, I thought it was a fantastic film that should not be missed