Monday, April 14, 2008

Sweeney Todd

We rented Sweeney Todd this weekend. When I was in high school I saw a recording of the Broadway production and LOVED it! I am a huge....i mean, HUGE fan of Stephen Sondheim. I love all of his music, but I absolutely fell in love with the music from Sweeney Todd. It is so hauntingly beautiful. I had intended to see the movie in the theater, but never got around to it.
I must say, I was so disappointed in it, compared to the broadway production. I remember it being more of a dark morbidly disturbing comedy. For instance, when I heard "A Bit of Priest" on broadway, I was rolling with laughter, but this time it wasn't much more than mildly amusing, to say the least. But, Tim Burton made sure to turn it into a complete horror. I should've known better. When it said it was rated R for GV(that's graphic violence---more like grotesque violence).
I was less than impressed with Johnny Depp (although he seems to always be type-cast in dark, brooding characters, like this and Edward Scissorhands, and Ichabod Crane, not to mention that pirate guy.
The vocals were less than impressive...disappointing to say the least. Except for the little boy, Toby, and the girl, Johanna. These two youngsters have obviously had a little musical theater in their background. I was surprised that good ole Johnny could sing, but I guess I was expecting something more "broadway-ish?" Mrs. Lovett sucked. I'm sorry, but she couldn't even carry a tune. Where's Angela Lansbury when you need her? (She played Mrs. Lovett on broadway) and I love her. (Yes, I used to watch 'Murder, she wrote')

This is a photo of the origingal broadway cast.

The worst disappointment was the fact that they completely omitted the Ballade of Sweeney Todd, and that's my favorite song in the whole thing! Oh, they had the main theme playing through the show, but in the broadway play They had the chorus singing it.
That song gets stuck in your head.....

Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd
His face was pale and his eye was odd
He shaved the faces of gentlemen
Who never, thereafter, were heard of again.....

(just try to imagine me singing that...cuz I am)
So, I stuck a video of the broadway production, playing the first scene, in case you want to get an idea.

There is my broadway vs. cinema soap box.
Can you guess which one wins for me?

p.s. If you want to see the show, but don't want the rated R version, go rent the broadway recording.


Elizabeth said...

I haven't seen the stage version in YEARS so I was pretty open to the film, and Chris and I both loved it. I guess I'm pretty dark, because we laughed through the whole thing. I did have to cover my eyes during the worst blood sequence-- but I still recommended the movie to my family. You are the broadway babe, though! I can see why you prefer the unadulterated pure version!! :) By the say, I also missed the ballad of Sweeney Todd. I sang it to Chris the whole day before we went to the movie and was pretty disappointed he didn't get to hear it--from someone who can sing!

Meldrum Mob said...

We were wondering how that was, but never went and saw it because of the R rating. I am glad to see it wasn't worth it anyways. Maybe I will go rent the old one. I like old movies better anyways.