Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Watch This! Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

For now, I've kind of nixed the music moment posts until I can figure out a more reliable way to do them. But, we're going to carry on with the other music themed posts of this month.

I think I've talked about my general affection for Sweeney Todd before. I actually saw a local production a year or so back. I saw this when it was in theaters. There's something appealing about a horror/comedy set in Victorian London that I'm just not sick of yet. It doesn't hurt that the movie itself has Johnny Depp at his Johnny Deppiest and Helena Bonham Carter playing more or less the character she always plays. But to the credit of the story, even in a live theater with much less famous actors, it's still very engaging in it's deliciously unsettling way.

If you don't already know the plot, it goes as follows: Sweeney Todd was once a young, optimistic barber, married to a beautiful woman with whom he had a lovely baby daughter. But, an evil judge played by Alan Rickman wants the his wife, and so he arranges to have him transported. Years later, he comes back, and he teams up with Mrs. Lovett (a pie shop owner), to take revenge on his enemies.

By far my favorite musical number is "A Little Priest", in which Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett gleefully sing about putting their murder victims into pies. It's catchy as hell, so upbeat and cheery, and yet so overtly disgusting. Some of the other scenes and numbers elicit an uncomfortable, spine-tingling sort of way, but this is the only one that made me actually laugh.

Some of the subplots (like the romantic subplot with Johanna), are not things that I would want to spoil for anyone who hasn't seen some version of the story yet. Everything in the movie kind of pales in comparison to the revenge plot in any case, but I kind of feel the dark and unfortunate love story could merit it's own retelling some day.

Anyway, I think I've officially talked this movie and play to death. If you have the opportunity to see it live, you really should, but even if that never happens the movie is really excellent on it's own.

1 comment:

  1. Ohmygosh I love this film! And the book! And oh, A Little Priest. I could listen to that all day-the puns are amazing. You have a good taste in things!


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