Johnny Depp has played some pretty twisted characters in his day so it should come as no surprise that he has found another offbeat character to add to his repertoire with his winningly effective performance in the musical, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”
In this latest film, Depp portrays the murderous barber, Sweeney Todd who is out for revenge after being falsely accused and sent to jail losing his wife and child. He changes his identity after he is released from jail and finds an unlikely ally in shop owner, Ms. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter). She recognizes him and decides to help him extract revenge on his chief rival, Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman) who sent stole his wife and sent him to jail in the first place.
Equipped with a set of shiny new shaving razors and with a shop above Ms. Lovett’s bakeshop, Todd is in business. With sharp razors and town full of men who need a shave, Todd goes to work slicing necks, kicking them down to the basement where Ms. Lovett grinds the poor unsuspecting souls into tasty meat pies.
Not for the faint of heart, Sweeney Todd is a bloody delight. Featuring an impressive songbook by Stephen Sondheim, a winning script that sails along and impressive lead performances from Depp, Carter and Rickman, “Sweeney Todd is everything in a musical that the overhyped “Hairspray” wasn’t.
Director Tim Burton and Depp have brought out the best in each other in their five collaborations together making the duo one of Hollywood’s most potent one-two punches. For all of their success apart, it is their work together that each will be most remembered for.
A year after another musical lit up the holiday season, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” may not have the same success but you can’t argue with the end result. The film is bloody fun.