Who is Sweeney Todd?
The man behind the world’s closest shave first appeared in a serial called The String of Pearls: A Romance. It took place in 1785 and was first published as a serial in 1846-47. The story has been adapted for stage and screen many times over, but in case you aren’t familiar with it, here’s the short version. Sweeney Todd is a barber on Fleet Street in London. He kills his victims (sometimes through breaking their necks and sometimes his straight-edge razor) and then disposes of the bodies by giving them to his neighbor, Mrs. Lovett. She bakes into meat pies at a time when meat is very scarce in the darker corners of the city.
What I Thought of Sweeney Todd
Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter were both complete and fabulous surprises when it came to their voice talent. Not to mention the incredibly talented Alan Rickman in the role of Todd’s nemesis. The musical and the visual storytelling was incredible. I was especially pleased with how many male-male duets there were in this film, and how beautifully everyone blended. I was a little skeptical when I first heard about another pairing of director Tim Burton’s bride (Carter) and Depp once again. But they were AMAZING in their roles as Todd and the nefarious Mrs. Lovett.
I don’t make a secret of it, I am a huge Johnny Depp fan. But, I also don’t go out of my way to collect everything he does, either. In the relentless cycle of seeking and gathering cheap movies, the Mister and I have gathered a very eclectic mix of films, and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street was a wonderful piece of filmmaking to have on hand when I needed an infusion of the gothic in my everyday life. Sweeney Todd tickled the same place that Neil Gaiman and Tim Burton always do for me, and I encourage fans of either to check out this film.
A disclaimer and a warning, there is a LOT of casual blood in this film. The splatter-ridden visuals makes for a very stunning splash across the black and white palette of the background (not unlike another Depp film, Sleepy Hollow) but can be a lot to handle for a viewer who is just looking for some pretty harmonies.