Movies: Sweeney Todd


Sweeney Todd, originally uploaded by fairytalecinema.

Rather than wait until next Friday for it to come out, I went with Fraser and Mark to see Sweeney Todd Sunday evening in preview. Neither of them knew what to expect but felt somewhat reassured by the large number of gay men in the audience (or perhaps they were just cruising I couldn't tell once the lights went down).

Sweeney Todd is a great musical. It is so well written and a great mix of comedy and horror. I have seen it at least twice including the recent John Doyle production (which seemed to somewhat influence the above poster artwork). None of the productions I have seen however were gory enough for my taste. So I was somewhat relived to be thoroughly disturbed by the blood and gore in this show. In fact, I can't remember ever seeing such a movie when you were rooting for a serial killer to stick it to the victim one more time... Blood flies, bodies crunch, it is disgusting, but in the context it all feels so satisfying.

In adapting a musical for the movies there are some changes, but none of these are for the worse (even the lack of singing chops by the leads). In some ways a movie helps make some of the more intricate moments in the show work better. And to my surprise the Odeon theatre in West End - normally a theatre chain known for sound quality as rubbish as their popcorn and stained seats - even got the sound right and kept it good and loud and intense.
But the star of the show (alongside Johnny Depp of course) is still the music - re-orchestrated and sounding fabulous - it is a valentine to London not to miss.

Upon leaving the cinema, I was overcome with the urge to have a good hot pie, but wasn't sure where the nearest Square Pie shop was... Besides, Fraser is watching his calories and fat intake post Christmas so I settled for some gin instead. Hey, that featured prominently in the film as well (albeit without the tonic water, the ice and a slice of lime in Ku bar)...

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