Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman
The Premise: Unlawfully sent to prison so the Judge (Rickman) can get his hands on his wife, Sweeney Todd (Depp) returns to discover his wife is dead and the Judge is keeping his daughter captive. He seeks revenge in the most delightfully blood-thirsty way, aided by the bonkers Mrs Lovett (Carter).
The Good: It’s long-since been established that Depp can play just about any character brilliantly. This film is no exception. He sings and slices his way through a dazzlingly dark performance, giving Sweeney a personality that’s both sinister and charismatic. But he’s upstaged every step of the way by Helena Bonham Carter’s portrayal of Mrs Lovett. She’s only supposed to be his sidekick—his enabler, if you will—but she steals the spotlight whenever she’s on screen. It would be an injustice to say she’s comic relief, but my god will she make you laugh. She makes you feel as if chopping up dead bodies and serving them in pies is the most hilarious thing in the world. As if to sugar-coat an already scrumptious main cast, there are some delightful supporting characters. Keep an eye out for Anthony Stewart Head’s cameo, and Sacha Baron Cohen’s performance is pure genius (naturally).
The Bad: The love story involving Depp’s daughter feels a bit rushed and forced—it could have done with a bit more non-singing screen time—and there are a few moments that are heavy on the cheese (try not to cringe when Sweeney sings his heart out about getting his blades back in his possession—it’s not the best number in the film).
Overall Verdict: Laden with Burton’s trademark gothic cinematography and bursting with talent from its illustrious cast, this film aims high and succeeds. Not to be missed!