So, I watched Sweeney Todd last night. It was directed by Tim Burton
from the apparently classic stage musical with lots of blood. The source of the stage musical was a folk tale about a barber looking for revenge.
Okay, lemme cut to the chase: I'm not a big fan of musicals. There has to
be something really special about them to make me like them. I can't stand older musicals and Sweeney Todd, in spite of the horror aspects, harkens back to shows like Oklahoma! and West Side Story. To put it quite frankly, I WAS BLOODY BORED. My only previous experience with Sweeney Todd comes from an episode of Just the Ten of Us when one of the daughters (Connie, played by JoAnn Willette) sings the title song in the pizza parlour. Since the title song isn't used in the movie, but makes up the main theme, I was thinking of that episode all through the movie.
Don't get me wrong: the performances were good. Johnny Depp has a serviceable voice (not bad, not great), but it's his performance that makes his Sweeney Todd work. Helena Bonham-Carter was good. Alan Rickman should not sing again, but his performance was fantastic. Timothy Spall really shouldn't sing again, but he was fantastic. Sacha Baron Cohen was...Adam Sandler, basically. Why was Anthony Stewart Head shown so prominently after Pirelli's disgrace when he doesn't show up again?
When put against the constantly bleak London backdrop that Burton created, even the livliest of the songs was lost. Everything was flat, the locations, I mean...even the parts that should have been poppy and bright were flat.
For a two hour movie, it felt strangely truncated and severely unsatisfying.