Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sweeney Todd

I loathe show tunes. With a passion. But Tim Burton's unbridled imagination, in giving an expectedly stylish framework to this classic if atypical B'way musical completely, won me over. For the first time in a long time you feel Burton's glee as a filmmaker and stylist. His imagination races through the possibilities of CGI, a hugely talented cast and his own fertile mind (some of the set pieces are just stunning). The performances by Johnny Depp (charismatic and assured), Helena Bonham Carter (droll and very moving) and Sacha Baron Cohen (fucking hilarious) made this an unexpectedly satisfying film-going experience for me. And to my surprise, I found that I recognized quite a few of Stephen Sondheim's songs. For the record, while theater purists will undoubtedly wail and moan at the lack of "proper" singing voices by the leads, I really enjoyed their interpretations, especially Depp's indie-rock approach to the songs. I couldn't see myself ever going back and listening to the soundtrack but for the course of the movie, it worked. Much better than Dreamgirls or Hairspray.

1 comment:

ReggieH said...

M and I are fans of the musical, and so are looking forward to the film (which I understand is quite different)