Based on the stage musical by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street stars Johnny Depp as Benjamin Baker, who returns to 19th century London after fifteen years in exile, seeking revenge against Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman), who imprisoned Barker and stole his wife (Laura Michelle Kelly) and infant daughter.
Renaming himself as Sweeney Todd, Benjamin sets himself up as a barber, above a grotesque pie shop run by Mrs Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter), who has always secretly loved him.When Todd kills a blackmailing rival barber (Sacha Baron Cohen), he finds himself with a body on his bloody hands, until Mrs Lovett hits upon an innovative solution that soon sees her pie shop transformed into a roaring success. Meanwhile, as Todd plots his vengeance against Turpin, a young sailor (Jamie Campbell Bower) falls in love with Todd’s imprisoned daughter (Jayne Wisener) and vows to rescue her.
This sixth collaboration with director Tim Burton, Johnny Depp delivers an exceptional performance in the leading role that combines the gothic horror, black comedy and heartache similar to his previous hit in Edward Scissorhands.
As for his singing, Depp’s vocal performance was full of passion with a nod to David Bowie. He may not be a great singer, but his voice was both distinctive and perfectly suited to the part as the demon barber.
Helena Bonham Carter was terrific as Mrs Lovett providing some laughs thanks to her sharp wit. She can also sing well with the dreamy summer sequence the highlight.
As for the supporting cast, Alan Rickman brings a crafty charisma to Judge Turpin alongside the creepy Timothy Spall as Beadle Bamford. As for Sacha Baron Cohen – better known as Ali G and Borat – his short appearance was memorable thanks to his humour as Signor Adolfo Pirelli.
Despite the gory factor, Sweeney Todd is a beautifully directed, superbly designed and suitably bloodthirsty musical. Entertaining with a sense of dark comical moments make this a movie to remember.