Wow. I saw Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at the cinema’s with Rhi and her mum this evening and boy can I tell you it was definitely not what we expected. If you haven’t heard anything about it yet, have a look at the trailer below.
Okay, so I assume you have seen the trailer now, according to the trailer, it gets an R18+ rating, however, in Australia it is actually only MA15+, bit of a difference.
It gets the rating for “graphic bloody violence” which is, in my opinion, an understatement.
Tim Burton has loaned his amazing directorship to the production along with Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd) and Helena Bonham Carter’s (Mrs. Lovett) excellent acting to create a stunning movie. Put simply, Sweeney Todd is an amazingly well done movie. Burton has achieved an unusually high level of immersion in the film and story, and let me just say this now, there is no way I am ever going to a barber, ever, regardless of how sane he appears.
The story of Sweeney Todd is that of a barber who has a beautiful wife and a baby daughter, until a local judge removes him from the scenario with false accusations and so on so that the judge can take Todd’s wife for himself. Todd’s wife dies and his daughter becomes the ward of the judge.
When Todd comes back to London, he is a completely different man to who he used to be. He seems to be a reasonable person, though bordering on insanity and he is bent on killing the judge who stole 15 years of his life from him,.
As the movie and story line progresses, Todd and Mrs. Lovett develop an unusual relationship and their apparent sanity diminishes to manic psychosis (I don’t know if that is existent, but it’s the closest thing I can think to describe it). With every murder they get worse and worse, especially Todd, to the point where he kills the wife that he thought was dead, he kill’s Mrs Lovett, he almost kills his daughter without realising who she is, and then he himself is killed, the way that he was killing people, by slitting their throats in his barbers shop with his barbers knives.
The story is a very unusual story, though not what I expected it to be, it was very well done. However, there was way too much gore in my opinion. Honestly, I lost count of how many times you saw someone’s throat slit on the screen with blood spraying everywhere.
Amazingly, Burton managed to turn a real life film into a cartoon-like atmosphere. The atmosphere was very much like that of Burton’s animated Corpse Bride (where the lead roles were acted by Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter as well).
While it is not an action film, in fact, the majority of the time, it could hardly be called a violent film. It is extremely gory though and it gets to the point that every time you see Todd with a customer in his barbers shop you don’t know whether to keep watching or to turn away because you don’t know if it is going to be a slit throat, or if it is going to be a real shave.
Todd’s motto is “I am going to give you the closest shave of your life,” and he definitely delivers.
It is not a horror movie either, IMDB lists it as being a crime/thriller/musical and this is probably the closest way to describe it. If it wasn’t for the massive amounts of gore, I would highly recommend this film, but really, I don’t think I could watch it a second time, despite how good the story is. So really, I can’t recommend it, even though it is a testimony to the skill of Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter and is absolutely amazing!