December 25th, 2007

occult, dark, satanic

Sweeney Todd Review

I saw the Sweeney Todd film today. It is a very interesting adaption. The "By the Sea" sequence, the Fogg's Asylum Scene, and the transition from the London Docks to Fleet Street is worth the ticket price alone. As has been mentioned by the media, yes there were noticeable changes between the stage musical and the play. Most of which, I felt, worked on screen. There were a couple, like the way Toby behaves at the end, that I felt were stronger on stage. It was done very Hollywood, even though it was also theatrical. Hal Prince is mentioned in the opening credits as having directed the stage version. I was very curious as to why that was stated, but I think it's because that some of his staging is used in the film. Now, I've only seen productions done with his staging, so I can't be quite sure if that's true or not, but I'm sure John Doyle's loyal fans that saw his horrendous version of this musical, can compare better than I. As for the casting, Johanna and Toby were cast wonderfully. Antony sang and acted very well, but I didn't expect him to look like that. Johnny and Helena...well...they are both too young for their respective parts. Also, they had something lacking...I wouldn't say chemistry, but something was missing. Maybe they were both too nervous about playing singing roles. Also, Johnny Depp's portrayal as Sweeney was very good, except it seemed very forced. Like he didn't want to speak the lines, but had to. This movie is worth seeing, and I'm sure people who haven't seen the stage version would like it...but there are things missing that could've added to it: like the wigmaker's sequence, where Todd teaches Antony how to be a wigmaker. Pure genius and would've worked in this, even if it was shortened. Hopefully, this is as well-recieved as it's being made out to be so Soundheim could put some of his other work on screen.

4 1/2 out of 5.
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    Sweeney Todd DVD -The Ballad of Sweeney Todd-
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