Friday, December 28, 2007

Sweeney Todd, again

I'm not sure what it was about Sweeney Todd, but it really worked for me. Part of it, I admit, is that I went into it prepared to like it because I'm a big Tim Burton fan. But I wasn't sure would like the music -- I don't love Broadway musicals, and I had never heard the Sweeney Todd music before.

Well, the music was great -- dark and melodic, soaring in places, but always in keeping with the dark tone of the story. But the music is only one piece (and Johnny Depp's singing was, in my opinion, better than advertised).

The classic Tim Burton visuals, which are always so over-the-top (which never bothers me), are in perfect harmony with the story. Really, it's a classic case of director and material matching up perfectly. Burton is all about dark comedy, and this is comedy at its blackest -- the song "A Little Priest" exemplifies that so well (it's all about how Mrs. Lovett's meat pies would taste with various people inside them).

The bloodletting is completely ridiculous -- in a good way. But the gore isn't off-putting (to me, anyway). Blood spurts and squirts in massive amounts, and it becomes comical after a while (dark, but comical), until the end, when things take a massive dramatic turn, and the gore gets more pronounced.

I don't want to spoil things for anyone who might be planning to see it, but the images, especially the final one, are incredibly powerful. They are, ultimately, a superb envisioning of a man driven mad by revenge.

I'll have more thoughts on this soon, I think. I can't get parts of this film out of my mind, so I think I'll be coming back to it (and I downloaded the soundtrack from iTunes just now, too)...


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