Sweeny Todd

Viewed – 24 June 2008  DVD

I have always been a big fan of Tim Burton.  His dark, tongue-in-cheek brand of comic, goth-horror has always struck a cord with me, and his frequent collaborations with Johnny Depp are just the icing on the cake.  Now we come to his latest effort, and one I was at first appealed by as it looked just as dark and sinister as Burton’s masterpiece Sleepy Hollow.  Then I discovered it was a musical.

Musicals have a hit and miss relationship with me – I am very fond of the likes of Sound Of Music, Evita, Little Shop Of Horrors (!) and even Tim Burton’s own A Nightmare Before Christmas…but I also hate some that haven’t got the right vibe – such as Moulin Rouge which seemed 90% noise and 10% entertainment.  Sadly, this film falls into the latter category, with no memorable numbers, no dancing, no staged choreography…just lots and lots of sung dialogue.  You know when a musical has failed when you actually wish they would just ‘talk’ for a bit instead of singing.  If there was one memorable song, then at least that would be something…but there isn’t.  Maybe I have come into this all wrong though – it’s an Opera, not a musical.  Perhaps.  Thats not what its been hyped up as though.

I will give credit where its due though; Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter are very good, and make a very interesting odd-couple, and the story is intriguing with some very macabre twists and turns…oh and as expected, Burton’s sumptuous eye for period set design and camera work are a treat for the eyes throughout.  Really though, why make it a musical, when you have no decent songs in it?  Disappointing.

Verdict: 2 /5

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