Movie Meltdown

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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

2014-10-30

by Kyle Armstrong

     For the October season, why not go for something creepy, something eerie. How about a musical? As for modern day, live action musicals, Sweeney Todd may  possibly be my favorite. It is weird to compare Oliver! to Sweeney Todd, but when I think of the two, I think of how different they are - but how similar they could be. Oliver Twist is a pretty dark tale, but made a very light-hearted and memorable musical. Sweeney Todd is also a dark tale (much more darker than Oliver Twist) and also happens to be one of the goriest musicals I have ever seen.

     Being Tim Burton, he knows his classic horror films, like Dracula, Frankenstein, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Phantom of the Opera, etc. making this one of his goriest films, But still,  Sweeney Todd isn't as gory as it would have been if by a different director. This being my 2nd favorite film by Burton, I have more appreciation toward this film, making the review a little more biased.

     This proves to be the musical of a new generation (just to fall back into a not so great generation of musicals). Now I have know I usually have a problem with musicals. There just aren't many to see anymore. And most of them (in my opinion) are just quite dumb and too clichéd, so I do not have much experience with musicals. But Sweeney Todd proves that musicals can still be fresh and fun.

     The tragedy of Benjamin Parker lets the audience feel sympathetic for this character, yet his emotionless murders makes it more difficult to feel anything for him. That is what the movie does so well, it presents a character so mixed up in this world that neither the audience nor he has any idea of what to do with him. Then it also shows Parker  as such a depressed guy that it later makes fun of that idea of him being this downer. There aren't many characters with actual dialogue, but they make do with what they are given. When I had first heard about the film, I thought Anthony was going to be a really annoying character. I have seen those characters before, the ones who are irritatingly in love and will do anything to prove it. Yet the more I watched, the more I felt bad for him because he would always be so close and something would happen to push him away. Now that I think about it, we never see what happens to the two, and that makes me wonder... is it better that way? I want to see the two together, but is it better to not show anything at all, instead of sugar coating it?

     Overall, Sweeney Todd is a fun film that I believe even if you are not a fan of the musical genre you could get into.

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