Friday, December 28, 2007

Sweeney Todd

Deb and I had seen the stage production of "Sweeney Todd" several times, but it has been a good while since the last viewing. Still I consider it one of the most fascinating, even courageous musicals ever written. Who would have thought such a story would capture musical theater audiences. So we were anxiously awaiting Tim Burton's big screen production. Still I must say I had a bit of an "approach/avoidance" think going, after hearing about the blood and gore and knowing how dark Tim Burton can get. (Danny Devito's role of The Penguin in "Batman Returns" still creeps me out.)

After a delightful sushi lunch with our friends Jeff and Cyndi, we ventured into the local cinema to take in the flick. And it was rather mesmerizing, I must say. I've appreciated Johnny Depp in many rolls, but can't say I've been a huge fan - now I am. He was fantastic in the title role - I thought his speaking and singing voice captured the part perfectly. The singing voices of some of the other cast - Helena Bonham Carter, and Alan Rickman - were less notable, but these were the only weak links in an otherwise amazing film. The blood did flow, and I turned my head a couple of times. But the film adaptation gave more depth to the characters, and made the story that much fuller of possibilities and tragedies. I actually didn't recall the specifics of the ending, so there were still elements of suspense up until the final frame.

Deb and I both picked up on one element that hadn't been predominant in the stage productions - how we consume one another metaphorically. The film in conjunction with the sad assassination of Benazir Bhutto were sobering reminders of how far we still have to go as a human race.

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