Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Review: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

06 Apr 08

Actors sing, and it still works . . .

An all-star adaptation of a stage musical that succeeds in exactly the same way RENT did not, ST is a fabulously grimy Victorian horror tale; Johnny Depp channels Roger Daltrey's voice to make himself the vengeful spirit with a straight razor that is Todd, while Helena Bonham Carter is the filthy slattern of a pastry cook who gets to live her dream of successful baking with the help of fresh free meat, even though her voice in duets is so light it gets tromped on by Johnny's hobnail boots.

Timothy Spall out-beadles Harry Secombe from OLIVER in acting if not voivce, while even the lugubrious Alan Rickman covers vocal and speech work perfectly as the hypocrite of a judge. The genuine stage singers are on form . . . But when Sacha Baron Cohen walks on stage literally, he takes the film and flies it solo until his ( SPOILER ALERT) rather deserved radical shave.

The denoument is suitably melodramatic and moral, and ( SPOILER ALERT) who knew bodice-ripper actresses were so flammable? Recommended, despite copious amounts of blood and anthrophagy.