This review is from: Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street [DVD]  (DVD)
The thing that they didn't want you to know about this film was that it is a musical, as is evident by the trailer.However it is a very unstereotypical musical, in the small category of musicals that cannot be dismissed as only apreciated by perticularly flamboyant homosexuals. (not to sound homophobic, that is the stereotype for these sort of movies). It is very bloody, with a high body count and ends with a particularly gruesome series of murders involving ovens and kids with knives, not for the feight hearted as you understand. Johnny Depp as Todd is marvellously broodingly obsessive, though not much of a singer. Helena Bonham-Carter as Mrs Lovett is Todd's sidekick, the owner of the worst pie shop in London. Bonham-Carter is again, not much of a singer but she carries off the role with a oddly sweet side to a gruesome character with the sequence with her and Todd marrying and settling down is beautiful.
As I mentioned this is an unusually dark musical, a very rare thing but I alaways enjoy them (The Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables are examples)and I adore the make-up and the whole look of the film. It follows Benjamin Barker reterning to London after being unlawfully imprisioned by Judge Turpin, who was jealous of Lucy, Todd's wife. Turpin raped Lucy and took his daughter Johanna, who he raises as his child. Barker is exiled for fifteen years and after his sentence is fullfilled he is back, wth revenge in his heart and a new name, Sweeney Todd. He meets Mrs Lovett the pie shop owner who tells him Lucy committed suicide many years ago. He begins to seak revenge on the world by setting up the infamous barber shop. Soon the 'barber shop' is florishing and Mrs Lovett's pie shop is one of the best in the city. But there is a murderous twist and it all ends in an entirely Grecian tragedy style, with yet more blood squirting from necks.
All in all it has marvellous set pieces, dramatic music with some very good singing and acting. It is a legendary tale, so it is a big ask for Burton to take on this, especially with the expectances from the fans of the musical (which I haven't seen so can't compair) who will instantly snub this becuase of the leads lack of singing talent. A good revenge film with a complex love "square" is the only word applicable. And incidentally the only victorian set film with modern profantity in I can think of, even though I'm sure there are more.
I would recomend it more to fans of Tim Burton and gothic horror in general instead of fans of straight up musicals, but good if you don't mind a five minute murder spree in song.