March 21, 2008

Never Forget. Never Forgive.

Posted in Fantasy, Horror, Movies, Musical, Suspense, Thriller at 8:25 am by inflickted

STWith the many mediums for entertainment today, one piece of work can be interpreted in so many ways. From a book, to a song, to a stage play, to a movie; there will always be some debate whether this version is better than the other. The same can be said when a Broadway musical is interpreted into a film or vice versa. The problem is, what applies in a stage musical, doesn’t always apply to a film studio or the other way around.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street is an award winning musical and is already considered a masterpiece. The play starred the wonderful and brilliant Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Lovett and Len Cariou as Sweeney Todd. The original musical won almost every major award during its time and has been constantly revived in Broadway. For its first film adaptation, audiences will witness the piece in a different light, a different version all together.

Praises all around for this film!

For the great Tim Burton and his incredible directing skill. His dark tones, his dynamic camera work, and his explicit story telling create a razor sharp edge for the over-all mood and pace of the movie. He stream lined the musical and went for quality over quantity thus fitting the whole thing within two hours. The colors and atmosphere was bland and bleak. A true reflection of the story’s backdrop of emotions: The state of life in London, the twisted sense of justice, lovelessness and hatred. All, an illustration of Sweeney Todd and who he has become. Burton’s camera angles and proper timing of musical numbers make you feel the suspense even more. His close-up shots are a true treat as they feature the expressions of the characters in full glory by emphasizing with the eyes and the powerful passion they deliver.

For the great actors and their immense talent. Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd is to die for. His darker portrayal of the demon barber exhibits how affected the character is with what has happened to his life and to the loss of his love. His acting is subtle but absolutely intense. His eyes and songs (“Epiphany,” “My Friends,” and “Pretty Women”) tell his story. Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett – is also a beauty to watch. Her thin voice and acting is a nice compliment to Johnny Depp. Although her voice is weak, her look and demeanor makes her performances stand out. Her songs like “The Worst Pies In London,” “Wait,” “By The Sea” and “A Little Priest” are some of my favorites. Other supporting characters like: Judge Turpin is played excellently by Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall as Beadle Bamford and Sascha Baron Cohen as Signor Adolfo Pirelli. One character which I also liked was Toby, played by Ed Sanders. He steals the show through his impressive maturity and expertise in playing the role of an abused orphan who received compassion from Mrs. Lovett.

For the story and the excellent adaptation. I have seen the musical once, and although a lot has been left out, the story itself remains true. What Tim Burton did was focus on how dark the story of Sweeney Todd is. The sets are gorgeous – grungy, dark, evil, stylized, but still solid. The costumes and makeup are richly layered in desaturated squalor and grime. It is a lifeless, dreary London, through which blood boils like a city on fire. It is a unique musical as it doesn’t have elaborate dance numbers and glorious kick lines. It also won’t over shadow the play despite its big production because of the two different treatments. I enjoyed the play and film equally. And let’s not forget the glorious gore presented by Burton. One throat after another gets slit and blood is everywhere. This gore, combined with the emotionally intense score, results in a brutally visceral cinematic experience that leaves you holding on to your throat as you squirm at the thought of how it would feel. Emotions – although at times not obvious – run wild. Anger, Love, Jealousy, Sadness, Compassion, Deceit, and a myriad of other feelings ooze from the movie. From the unrequited love Mrs. Lovett has for Mr. T, to his descent to madness, and to the one scene where his family is unknowingly reunited; Sweeney Todd is laden with deep story backgrounds and complex behaviors (all the more reason to see the play too).

I have nothing but praise for this movie. Tim Burton did an outstanding job with this piece of art and completely made it his own. The unsettling power of “Sweeney Todd” comes above all from its bracing refusal of any sentimental consolation, from Mr. Burton’s willingness to push the most dreadful implications of the story to their blackest conclusions. Definitely another great offering from the Burton-Depp tandem. So, as is said in the movie,

“Tell me, is it good?”

“Sir, it’s TOO good, at least”


It gets a bloody 4.9 out of 5 or 98% infectious



  1. everydayman said,

    it is good!

    I;ve downloaded the trailer in revver. coz it’s free.


  2. everydayman said,

    by the way, it’s featured here:

    if you’re interested.

  3. hener said,

    Sweeney Todd is superb. LSS ako sa …there was a barber and his wife… I agree that movies and broadways are different mediums that shouldnt be compared. La lang… I fell in love with Ms. Bonham-Carter on this one. HAHAHA

  4. iamsamjuan said,

    ang galing nga ng pelikulang ito.
    hanga ako kay tim burton.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: