NEVER FORGET. NEVER FORGIVE.
Sweeney Todd (Johnny Depp) returns to London after being exiled for years and opens a barbershop, preparing to exact revenge on the judge (Alan Rickman) who stole his wife and daughter. What musical is better suited to director Tim Burton’s taste than this Broadway show? He had wanted to do it for a long time and he makes it work in spite of his inexperience in this field; the same goes for Depp who turns Sweeney into his own character despite his singing flaws. Fans of the director can count on gothic sets, visuals in blue, gray and sepia tones, as well as beauty, a sense of humor and buckets of blood. The songs are not individually memorable, but as a whole a fitting accompaniment.
2007-U.S. 117 min. Color. Produced by John Logan, Richard D. Zanuck, Laurie MacDonald, Walter F. Parkes. Directed by Tim Burton. Screenplay: John Logan. Play: Stephen Sondheim, Hugh Wheeler. Cinematography: Dariusz Wolski. Art Direction: Dante Ferretti. Costume Design: Colleen Atwood. Cast: Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd), Helena Bonham Carter (Mrs. Lovett), Alan Rickman (Turpin), Timothy Spall, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jayne Wisener.
Trivia: Russell Crowe was allegedly considered for the lead, with Sam Mendes directing. Anne Hathaway was allegedly considered for the part of Johanna.
Oscar: Best Art Direction. Golden Globes: Best Motion Picture (Comedy/Musical), Actor (Depp).
Last word: “Most musicals are camp by their very nature but the difference here was the melodrama of it, that sense of really extreme obsessive behaviour which made it feel to me much more like a silent movie with music. The material has a strong horror-movie vein to it. Johnny Depp and I were always talking in terms of old horror-movie actors like Lon Chaney and Peter Lorre. But then you get on set and you have to fit that in with a show which is about the belting-to-the-gallery type of Broadway singing. I think in the end it actually helped that we had non-professional singers. Johnny really made it his own; he keeps that extreme emotional element and still sounds like him.” (Burton, Time Out)