Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions

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Demon Barber

January 27, 2008 by Richard Wright in Journal, Life

You know when you see something, and just can’t work out what you think about it? Last night, Burton’s Sweeney Todd did exactly that to me. Visually, it was extraordinary, from the grotesque mask he threw over London, to the perfectly timed visual brutalities and humour (both of which worked very well). The cast were uniformly excellent, whether that be the leads or the cameos and support (I particularly enjoyed Depp and Rickman), and the story bolts along neatly.

What I can’t decide, is whether I would enjoy the musical in any other form. While some of the lyrics were interesting, others were frankly dreadful, and very little of the music has stuck in my head (actually, I can’t remember a single tune). There was also an annoying tendency for characters to sing about something that had just happened – re-describing something that you just saw with your own eyes, rather than singing through the moments in question – which made the action a little stuttery at times.

I think I enjoyed it. I just wasn’t able to get lost in it.

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2 Comments

  1. Dan LaurikietisJanuary 28, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    As with most of Tim Burton’s films I thought it was a triumph of style over substance. The production design and cinematograpy were, as you said, amazing.

    My experience was slightly soured by the twat sitting next to me saying such choice quotes as;

    “Why’s it so dark?”

    “How come it doesn’t tell you how he got them black eyes?”

    And my personal favourite,

    “This is shit. People don’t just start singing like that!”

    Cretin!

  2. Richard WrightJanuary 28, 2008 at 9:32 pmAuthor

    He picked up his black eyes, along with much of his accent, while pirating across the Carribean. It’s a good accent though, and deserves the exposure.

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