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Sweeney Todd

As you'll have seen from my previous post, I was duty bound to see this film. I guess that now means I'm duty bound to review it.

Plot overview:
Set in 19th century London, the story features Benjamin Barker the barber (say that after a drink or two) who seeks revenge on the judge who sent him away for fifteen years - robbing him of his wife and daughter. Barker sets up business as Sweeney Todd the Barber, situated above a pie shop. It's not long before an unholy alliance is made and the bodies from his kills turn into pie-filling.

Who's in it?: Mr Depp is Benjamin Barker, Helena Bonham Carter is Mrs Lovett the pie-shop owner and Alan Rickman is the evil judge. Add in Sacha Baron Cohen for a bit of randomness and you've got quite an impressive cast.

Is it any good?: My partner, who had been gagging to see this film came out feeling a bit let-down, saying that the music score was at times inappropriately over-dramatic to the point of annoyance. The guy sat to my left fell asleep during the film and snored. That's hardly a good start and I'm not a musical sort of person, but I managed to get to the end without feeling my life had been robbed of a couple of hours, which is quite an achievement. Even more of a surprise is that Johnny Depp can actually sing. It's just a shame that he can't do a British accent very well. In Pirates of the Caribbean he sounded like Keith Richards, but in Sweeney Dodd he sounds like David Bowie. Helena Bonham Carter does a pretty good job of being the piemeister, but I'm not entirely sure she was as sordid for the part as we're led to believe she should be. There's plenty of CGI in there too, which generally succeeds in making 19th Century London look downright grey and awful.

Should I go and see it?: It's an interesting notion to see a film that combines music humour with blood, gushing at times as per Kill Bill, but it gets away with it. It's an 18 certificate - and deservedly so. If you're squeamish, don't see it. If you like laughs with your body count, do. (3.5/5)

Other reviews: Here, here and here.
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