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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review-Sweeney Todd

Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter croon over straight razors in Sweeney Todd.  Photo courtesy DreamWorks Pictures
Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter croon over straight razors in Sweeney Todd. Photo courtesy DreamWorks Pictures

By Sara Pintilie/entertainment editor

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (4.5 stars)

Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter croon over straight razors in Sweeney Todd.  Photo courtesy DreamWorks Pictures
Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter croon over straight razors in Sweeney Todd. Photo courtesy DreamWorks Pictures

To some, director Tim Burton might seem like a one-trick pony but with his latest, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, he proves his gothic flare is still bloody fun.

The musical about a murderous barber, scribed by the Broadway heavyweight Stephen Sondheim, illustrates the art of revenge with an elegant malice and dark soundtrack, which is sung beautifully by the cast.

Sweeney Todd (Johnny Depp), wrongly imprisoned for 15 years by Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman), returns to England to find his wife has poisoned herself. His daughter, Johanna (Jayne Wisener), is under the watchful eye of the creepy Turpin.

With the help of bakery shop owner Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter), Todd returns to his barber roots to lure Turpin into his morbid trap.

As he waits impatiently for the judge, he dodges Turpin’s right-hand man, Beadle Bamford (Timothy Spall), helps the young love-crossed Anthony (Jaime Campell Bower) free Johanna and liberates Toby (Ed Sanders) from the “dreadful I-talian” (Sasha Baron Cohen) as Lovett puts it—-—not bad for a man with only revenge on the brain.

While Todd tolls away in his barbershop, Lovett keeps busy, and her unrequited love for him at bay, with her meat pie business. It takes a lot of work to move the corpses.

And –don’t forget the singing. Almost the entire movie is in lyrics, down to Lovett’s fantasy of a life “By the Sea” where Todd cared more about her than his straight razors.

Depp is fantastically menacing with his white-streaked hair and manic glare. He brings such an unbridled emotion to his character the audience almost feels his anguish and anger.

Not only does Depp channel this complex character flawlessly, he also prevails at the singing aspect. His voice sounds a little unpolished, which completely works, but he can sure hit and hold those notes with the right amount of emotion and restraint—not bad for a first-timer.

But the surprise in this movie isn’t Depp—he’s great in everything—it is Carter. Sure, she has always had that certain charm in her movies, but in Sweeney Todd, she reinvents Lovett and gives Depp a run for his money for the spotlight.

Her wispy vocals are haunting, sweet and surprisingly good and offset Depp’s anger, which oozes out of his every move.

The rest of the cast creates an extraordinary backdrop in the Burton universe, bringing more depth and razor-edge facets to this gothic tale.

Rickman should always play a villain. He has that great aura about him, not to mention the perfect villainy voice.

Bower and Wisener are unknown but hold their own against these seasoned thespians, but the young Sanders beats everyone with his amazing vocals.

Though Sweeney Todd might not be everyone’s cut of meat, it is an entertaining adventure worth taking.

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