(Trigger warnings: violence, harsh language, mentions of suicide and implied sexual assault)
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. A classic story of how revenge can make the best of people lose sight of their humanity, with the gruesome twist of questionable cuisine.
I am a HUGE fan of musicals. In 1999, when CATS passed through Alberta, I found myself personally captivated by the stage and would then go on to lead a career in the arts. Obviously, Sweeney Todd has a distinct lack of actors prancing around in furry spandex, but it is certainly charming in its own dark way.
Anyone who is a fan of Sondheim’s music will likely appreciate the big-screen production. The star-studded cast ensures that the humorous elements shine through while staying true to the script and its characters. Tim Burton’s style complements the script with his colour pallet and set decoration choices. In fact, though he was not the original director that was signed on to the project, it seems like a natural decision. Plus, he and Helena Bonham Carter often come as a pair, so you really can’t go wrong.
Though I was entertained, I found that this movie had many of the same weaknesses as the film adaptation of Les Miserables. First, the casting is based on star power, and not vocal strength. It is clear that many of the actors that were not trained as singers worked very hard on this in pre-production, and all-in-all the performances shone through, just don’t expect Broadway quality.