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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Not as excellent as it was hyped up to be.

Let's take the strengths first. Johnny Depp as always shows terrific acting, and his singing voice is not bad. Mrs. Tim Burton is also great in belting out those tunes, although frankly I'm wondering when Tim Burton will stop using her in his films. Alan Rickman too fleshes out the despicable judge, and one will not feel sorry once Todd slits his throat. And Sacha Baron Cohen's brief appearance is one of the film's redeeming moments.

Cinematically, the film is a sight to behold. Burton masterfully paints the visual mood of the story, with bright crimson blood contrasting the cinematography's de-saturated tones. Production design is also good, especially the meat shop, where the filthy kitchen (with all its roaches) sends shudders up your spine and takes away your appetite.

And now, the weaknesses. Well, there is only one basic weakness: the songs sucked. A musical film must excel on two grounds: visually, and musically. Tim Burton took care of the visual part, but frankly the songs were not even good enough to creep into my head and subconsciously plant themselves as a last-song syndrome.

Bottom line is, the music wasn't great, and the songs weren't catchy. It therefore fails as a musical.

Rating: Three and a half stars.


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