February 8, 2008

Golden Globe/Oscar nominee review #3: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street - Helena Bonham-Carter, Johnny Depp, Alan Rickman SWEENEY TODD: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Directed by
: Tim Burton

Released by: Dreamworks SKG, Warner Bros. Pictures

Noms: Oscar Best Actor, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design (parang puro Tim Burton film may Costume Design or Make-up nom... LOL), Globes Best Picture - Musical or Comedy, Best Actress - Musical or Comedy, Best Actor - Musical or Comedy, Best Director

Wins: Globes Best Picture- Musical or Comedy, Best Actor - Musical or Comedy

Tomatometer: 87%

In a nutshell: It's a magnificently vicious gorefest that's perfectly directed, greatly acted, surprisingly well-sung and just wonderfully made! One gripe though, the last 4 minutes lack a bit of sentimental punch!

OK, so maybe I shouldn't have put the damn subtitle on the title (even the opening credits don't), but hey, there has already been a few movies based on the same musical that also have the subtitle as its title. OK, I'm babbling now, and I'm not sure this introduction is even decent anymore, so moving on...

Benjamin Barker (Johnny Depp) is a man who has a beautiful wife and a daughter named Johanna. But because Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman) wants his wife, he wrongly dumps Barker to Australia for 15 years in exile. But now that his sentence is over, he returns to London and changes his name to Sweeney Todd. He meets his former landlady Mrs. Lovett who owns a shop which sells "the worst pies in London". Now he knows that his wife is presumably dead from poison and Judge Turpin has taken Johanna into his care (and plans to marry her), he wants to take revenge, not only to him, but also to the other people who have helped ruin his life.In Tim Burton's sixth collaboration with Johnny Depp and fifth collaboration with his domestic partner Helena Bonham Corter (not including their other two "collaborations") and Depp and Carter's second (?) movie together, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street offers a powerhouse cast lead by Burton's two favorites (who are rightfully acclaimed for their performances). Right from Anthony, Toby to Beadle Bamford, they are all noteworthy and distinct and that's what I like about it.

Actually, in the first half of the movie, I asked myself why the hell it's even rated R, especially because there wasn't anything direly wrong about that first half anyway. I even thought that the movie should've been rated PG-13 or just PG! I mean, the only swear word you'll ever find is...
Sorry... but you get the point. (P. U.! I can even smell the picture!)

But in the second half, when Sweeney gets his first chance at murder, you get sort of a shock because you don't actually expect that much blood to come out of someone's throat (I'm talking too much already) and that image is still shocking everytime he does it. Still, even in its most gruesome glory, the art direction of the film still shines and rather eye-popping. (Damn, the poop is still showing in the damn blog editor!)
Even though Burton perfectly directs everyone and the risk he took with the actors have paid off (because they don't really sing), but even with the powerhouse performance of the whole cast, I think the last four minutes of the movie (I won't elaborate about that, of course) needs a bit more of a revelationary (if there was such a word) punch! I think it needed to be more dramatic, but then again, I'm not saying that the ending didn't convey its message wrongly.But even with that, this movie is my new favorite musical, and if Juno didn't exist, and if that ending had more punch, the movie would've earned my 2007 Unanimously Best Picture award and a perfect 10 respectively. I love the way it was helmed, the vision of Burton which blends in well with the story and the magnificent music of Sondheim, and everything. It's well-made and once again, I just love it.

Rating: 9.7/10 (It's almost perfect, but one thing just keeps the movie from hitting it. It's a visceral cinematic treat you should watch, especially in the theater if you can.)

PHOTO CREDIT: The Daily Poop, Rotten Tomatoes

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