Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sweeney Todd

Previews: Fool's Gold, Mama Mia!, Cloverfield, The Ruins (I won't be watching this)

I have a confession to make. ...

I really didn't care for Tim Burton's take on Sweeney Todd.

This is startling for several reasons:
  1. I really like this musical
  2. I really like Tim Burton, and Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter
However, I suspect there are a number of reasons behind why I didn't like it:
  1. I really really like this musical. I own a dvd of both the stage performance and a staging of just the music. I have watched each several times. I've seen it performed on stage at least three times, most recently just last month. I know all the songs, nearly by heart.
  2. I think my expectations were too high. I really thought that the combination of people behind the movie was perfect, and that this would be an amazing film.
And it wasn't. Which isn't to say it was bad - there were parts that I quite enjoyed, and the staging of "By the Sea" was brilliant. This is the first version of Sweeney Todd I've seen that really got to the heart of Mrs. Lovett - that she really wants to be married, with children, to have a "normal" life, and she knows that Todd's probably not going to give that to her, but she can't but try to make it work.

Like any other movie adaptation, be it of a musical or book, things had to be cut, and because I know the music so well, it sometimes stood out. I'd be singing along in my head when - chop. Just like Sweeney!

I didn't mind the blood so much, but I had to close my eyes after witnessing the first body fall to the bakehouse - I really didn't need to see them land head-down on the bricks. Really. No, really.

Johnny Depp - the singing was fine, if not quite deep enough or powerful enough. It was adapted to suit his voice, and he did OK. Less OK was the accent, which was painfully bad at times. And really distracting.

Helena Bonham Carter was pretty good. I didn't mind her breathy singing voice, for the most part, although she too could have been more powerful in parts.

A disappointment, for me.

I'm going to go see Juno on Fri or Sat, I think.


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