Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Sweeney Todd

Okay…this is one I’ve been wanting to do for so long!! I saw Sweeney Todd in the theater twice and absolutely loved it. I decided to wait for the DVD release to do my official write-up though…and I have been counting down the days until I got to see it again…which I did last night.

Ahhhh…I really do just love this movie. It makes me so happy! Hahaha…when you know the premise, that might sound strange…but it is what it is. Sweeney Todd is the story of a barber, named Benjamin Barker, who is wrongfully imprisoned by an jerkface Judge, who wants to get Barker out of the picture so he can have Barker’s wife. 15 years after his imprisonment, he has escaped (or been released? Not sure) and has returned to London, having reinvented himself as a man named Sweeney Todd, hoping to find the family he’d left behind. He goes back to Mrs. Lovett’s Meat Pies shop…where he, his wife and daughter had rented a room. Instead of the happy homecoming he’d envisioned, however, he learns from Mrs. Lovett that his wife had poisoned herself, and that the Judge had taken custody of his daughter.

Upon this revelation, Todd vows revenge upon the Judge and all those who have wronged him in the past…enlisting the help of Mrs. Lovett. She is quite obviously in love with him, (though it is wasted, as he is consumed with memories of his wife and daughter alone) and is willing to do anything for him. Together they work up a plan that Todd will open his barber shop above her meat pie shop…and they will lure the Judge to him by developing a reputation around town for being the best barber in the business. After competing in a head to head “shave off” with the town’s “celebrity” barber, (and dispensing of that competition…quite literally) Todd begins to entertain more and more customers…some of which receive a shave that is a bit closer than they’d probably bargained for. Mrs. Lovett, whose pie shop had previously been struggling due to a lack of money, and therefore, a lack of meat…(she introduces herself in the movie as the maker of the “Worst Pies in London”)…finds her own business to be booming as Todd’s customers literally pile up, providing her daily with “fresh supplies.”

I honestly could go on and on and on about this movie…but I’ll stop there with the plot references. I will, however, give you the...

“Top Three Things I Love About Sweeney Todd”

The Music! The movie, which I would say is probably 75% music, is based on a Broadway musical, and the songs are addictive and contagious. I bought the soundtrack within days of seeing the movie and find myself singing the songs all the time. As dastardly as the plot may seem…the singing really balances out the horror of what is happening. I know that might sound weird…but it’s hard to remember that you’re watching a literal “slasher” flick, when the killer is singing a beautiful song about his long lost daughter.

Johnny Depp! I honestly can’t say enough about Mr. Depp. I just love that guy. Sometimes I think I feel about him the way that Mrs. Lovett feels about Mr. Todd…but I can safely say that I’d never bake a “Priest-filled Meat Pie” for him. Johnny’s performance as Sweeney is SOOO good…he’s dark and brooding…and envelopes the character entirely. Also, his singing voice is just perfect for the part.

Tim Burton! I think whenever a Tim Burton movie comes out, I’m pretty sure that I’m going to love it. He just makes good movies…that are fun to watch…even to look at. He’s paired so many times with Johnny Depp that they almost just seem to “go together” by default…but each new movie is something fresh and new…and he never disappoints me. I love that guy.

The movie, I guess, probably isn’t for everyone. If you don’t like musicals, for one…you probably won’t like this movie. If you love musicals, but don’t like people who’s motives are not always “honorable,” then maybe you should go rent Mary Poppins instead. Finally…there IS a fair amount of killing in the movie. But, like I said before…it feels less violent (at least to me) than it is…due to the dark humor and wonderful music, and Tim Burton’s artistic style. I love love love this movie…and it has become, immediately, one of my all time favorites.


Kristi said...

OH MY GOSH!!! I love it, I love it! Johnny Depp is my new hero!