‘Sweeny Todd’ gives audiences the close shave

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By Sandra Diaz

By Sandra Diaz

“Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” had to be the best movie I almost didn’t get to see.

You may be asking yourself: ‘wait, how did she see the movie? It’s not even out yet.’

Well if you must know, I’m awesome.

The screening was presented by My Cinema Access and Evil Club Empire at the Mann Chinese 6 Theater in Hollywood.

The down side of getting free tickets off the internet was that the seating was not guaranteed.

Waiting in line anticipating being able to get in we inched closer to the theater door until they cut me off splitting our party in two.

Luckily there were just two seats left in the whole theater, in the first row.

Sweeny Todd is the tale of Benjamin Barker (Johnny Depp), a London barber whose wife Lucy was too pretty for her own good. Her beauty caught the attention of Judge Turpin, the unkind and creepy villain of the story. In attempt to woo Lucy and make her his, the judge convicted Barker of a crime he didn’t commit and sent him off to Australia for fifteen years. After fifteen years Barker changes his name to Sweeny Todd and comes back to London to find his wife and child.

Todd discovers that his wife poisoned herself and his daughter was taken in by the Judge Turpin. Having no one to come home to, Todd is ready to enact revenge upon those who have wronged him.

I can tell from watching the movie that the play is wonderful. The movie is equally just as wonderful but should not be compared to the musical.

This is because of Tim Burton.

Burton didn’t just make the story his own; he gave the eerie tale new life and shared it with everyone.

Depp’s portrayal of the murderous barber was fitting as he is the leading king of gloom in a substantial amount of Burton’s films. Depp’s singing though was often flat during numbers where he had to sing alone. That’s where Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett comes in handy.

Often the helping hand guiding Sweeny to his victims and even going so far as to cover up the murders by baking them into meat pies Carter’s Mrs. Lovett was always ready to offer her services. There couldn’t have been anyone else better suited for the role other than Carter and her voice was surprisingly amazing.

The best songs in the movie were the ones with either Carter or the youngest actor on cast; Ed Sanders who played Tobias Ragg, a servant boy that Mrs. Lovett employs after his abusive master (played hilariously by Sacha Baron Cohen) goes missing mysteriously. Most notable was their duet “Not While I’m Around.”

Apart from Sweeny Todd’s revenge, there is also a love story interwoven into the story between Todd’s young daughter Johanna (Jayne Wisener) and a young sailor by the name of Anthony Hope (Jamie Campbell Bower). While not entirely important to the main plot or even all that interesting, it should be noted that the end result would not have been accomplished without the inclusion of the subplot.

Adding together all of Bower and Wisener’s scenes wouldn’t even make up a half an hour of the movie.

Basically the movie is chalk full of remarkable actors. There is even a small cameo from Anthony Head.

“Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” was both highly enjoyable and visually stunning so instead of going to visit relatives on Christmas you should just go to the theater and see this movie as soon as possible.

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