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Sweeney Todd

September 9, 2010

Sweeney Todd (2007)
Director: Tim Burton
Actors: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman

Synopsis: Benjamin Barker/Sweeney Todd (Johnny Depp) returns to London, intent on wreaking revenge on the man (Alan Rickman) who ruined his marriage and now keeps his daughter captive.

Review: Stephen Sondheim’s musical Sweeney Todd gets a predictable, but nevertheless, proficient and enjoyable cinematic makeover from what could be considered the nearest thing to a “safe pair of hands” for this type of material: Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. Burton revels in the period gothicism and gore that the story lends, while Depp gets to add to his gallery of idiosyncratic and luckless outsiders. There is a fundamental emptiness beneath the plotline and Burton’s technical mastery, but it’s hard to deny the superficial pleasures in that artistry and the consummate ease with which he handles the musical conventions for a cinematic format. (January 2008)

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