Rebirth of Reason

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Sweeney Todd (2007)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Sacha Baron Cohen
Director: Tim Burton
Sanctions: 5
Sanctions: 5
Sweeney Todd
This film is an incredible integration of music, drama, comedy, horror, and stunning visual artistry.  The real stars of Sweeney Todd are the unquestionably brilliant composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim,and Tim Burton, whose masterful direction and original artistic vision bring this classic stage masterpiece to life as a bold, daring and wildly entertaining movie.

The story concerns Benjamin Barker, a virtuous young man who had mastered his profession, married the woman he valued most in the world, and was a proud father of a lovely baby girl named Joanna.  The wicked Judge Turpin takes Benjamin Barker's wife, daughter, and property away from him by force through abusing his power of legal authority.  Barker, unjustly treated as a criminal, endures many years on a remote island before he returns home.  When he does, he discovers that Judge Turpin still presides.  Seeking justice, Benjamin Barker assumes the alias of Sweeney Todd and sets forth to kill the evil man who ruined his life. 

Unable to accomplish this, Sweeney misplaces his desire for retribution on the society that tolerated such evil in the first place. 

The score is one of the greatest musical theatre achievements of the twentieth century.  Sondheim's musical textures and melodies are woven together with astonishing craft and emotional expression.  So strong is this score, that it hardly matters that the singers in the film do not have strong voices; the music speaks for itself, and all that's required is actors who make sense of what they're singing.

And they do.  The cast, especially Johnny Depp, is ideally suited to their roles.

The film opens the week of Christmas 2007, and is well worth seeing.
Added by Eric Rockwell
on 12/07/2007, 3:04pm

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