Sweeney Todd - A (very) Delayed Review

Sweeney Todd

There was a screener copy of Sweeney Todd sitting on top of my parents television for the past four months, yet I never had the chance to watch it. The reason for the delay is that every time I suggested a viewing it was turned down, along with the reason that it was "too bloody."

Now I'm a child of video games. I played through Max Payne four times while listening to the soundtrack to 42nd Street. I'm serious. I tried to time my slow-motion kills to the music. Violence and music to me run through my blood. So when I first heard that Sweeney Todd was both a musical and practically blood-soaked, I was excited. Very excited. Probably too excited.

So I finally got to watching Sweeney Todd, the film adaptation of the infamous Broadway musical, this time directed by Tim Burton. The main attractive selling point here is the big names. Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, and some other British kid who I found more creepy than the rest of them, they all line the halls of this Victorian tale of murder and unintentional cannibalism. It's an unlikely cast for a musical, especially since it's hard to imagine Professor Snape singing about "pretty women," but it works. And it works extraordinarily well. The performances are expectedly top-notch and are perfectly in synch with the music, as they should be.

Unlike the Phantom of the Opera adaptation, which apparently had actors casted because they seemed to "look" the part, the characters in Sweeney Todd are fully realized through their performers.

When I think about it, there's hardly anything "wrong" with Sweeney Todd, I mean, apart from the complete lack of concern regarding to other people's lives. Visually, it's striking. Musically, it's very appealing and actually hummable. The script is surprisingly clever and has enough turns to constantly keep you interested.

Somehow though, there's this strange emptiness afterwards. There's a feeling that says, "that was great, but now what?" You feel a void as deep as Mr. Todd's morals, but somehow you're still humming.

The bottom line though is this, Sweeney Todd is entertaining. It's well worth renting, and if it strikes the artery you fancy, maybe even worth buying. See it.

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