Sweeney Todd : the Demon Barber of Fleet Street by Tim Burton (Dir.)
Reviewed by John Glover, Reference Librarian for the Humanities
The story of Sweeney Todd goes back at least to the 1840s, when the serial story The String of Pearls was first published. The "Demon Barber of Fleet Street" has run through pages and on stages, as well as appearing on screens big and small over the years. In 2007 he slashed his way across London and into our hearts in Tim Burton's theatrical adaptation.
Johnny Depp brings a manic gleam to the well-worn role of the bloody butcher, with Helena Bonham Carter as his pie-baking partner in crime, Mrs. Lovett. They sing and glide through scenes with mournful, homicidal grace, planning the barber's revenge against Judge Turpin, played by the talented Alan Rickman. As musicals go, Sweeney Todd is an odd one, but the music is well-integrated into the movie. If you hate music, this might not be the movie for you, but if you stayed away because you like the story or actors but couldn't bring yourself to see a musical, check it out. Above all, this is (and feels like) a Tim Burton film.