Holy man! I watched Sweeney Todd last night with Hubby and Eldest Son and Young Son #2. Daughter was sleeping over at a friend’s house. She’s glad we have the movie for a week because she wants to see it too. Let me tell you, Johnny Depp deserves an award for being one of the finest actors ever. The guy inhabits a role, which I’ve noticed is an attribute found more often in British actors than in American ones. I was on the edge of my seat every time he whipped out one of his straight razors as Sweeney Todd. The amount of trust a person placed in the hands of a tonsorial artist (barber) during the time of straight razors was immense. Imagine baring your throat to a man with a sharp blade. After watching Sweeney Todd, there’s not a chance you’ll ever be willing to do this. I wondered aloud to Hubby about Alan Rickman, who plays Judge Turpin, trusting Johnny Depp to shave him during the movie. Hubby said, “They probably used dull blades for filming.” Knowing Johnny Depp’s devotion to his craft, I doubt it. He and Sacha Baron Cohen, who plays a barber named Pirelli in the movie, probably both had training in the use of a straight razor. Depp wouldn’t settle for anything less.
Alan Rickman played one creeeeeeepy judge. Honestly, I wanted to shower after watching him and his henchman Beadle, played by Timothy Spall, perform in the movie. Rickman is like Depp in that he is a consummate actor who makes you believe. He’s one of my favorite on-screen villains.
Helena Bonham Carter was the charming and practical Mrs. Lovett, who made the worst pies on Fleet Street, until she had some help from Sweeney Todd. There’s a fabulous series of scenes in which Mrs. Lovett is singing of her dreams for her and Sweeney Todd, including her plans for them to have a house by the sea and to get married. The costume changes during this portion of the movie are delightful and exhibit director Tim Burton’s quirky habit of juxtaposing the light-hearted with the dark. The costumes are colorful and fun, but Depp and Carter are still wearing their dark eye makeup with pale faces and ratty hair. It’s priceless and one of the signature stylistic devices of Burton, who is truly a one-of-a-kind director.
I heartily recommend this movie, but not for wee little kids. Every time Sweeney Todd slashed a throat, I had to cover my eyes because Burton does not leave this to the imagination. And my neck hurt vicariously after watching the bodies hit the ground.