Friday, June 20, 2008

Goth Depp

The boy brought me home a present yesterday, Sweeney Todd on DVD. I'd heard that Depp, who plays the main guy, actually does a decent job of singing. And though, unlike many bloggers I know who crave Johnny Depp movies because he's hot, I like them 'cos he's hot and generally chooses great movies to be in (except the Pirates movies and The Man Who Cried and I really wasn't interested in the one about the sexually perverted S&M guy).

So anyway, what a bizarre thing to write a musical about - a barber who murders all manner of innocent men with his shaving apparatus (or is that apparati, seeing as he's got several?), and his neighbour who puts his victims into her meat pies? Still, it's been around for years and years (the musical, not the film of the musical), so obviously there's a market for gory stories with singing.

It was pretty gory alright. One minute a young sailor is trilling about the love of his life - whom he's never met, but seen through a window - and the next you see Depp slicing some poor guy's throat with a And he doesn't even bother to finish shaving them first. Everytime I saw one of the dead guys fly backwards down the chute to the bakery's ad-hoc meatworks, I shivered and cringed.

Back to the singing. The tunes aren't the most catchy I've ever heard. They aren't going to outdo anything on the Wiggles CDs. In fact, musically it reminded me of the time I reviewed Les Miserables for a bunch of work friends. I hated Les Miserables.

I didn't hate Sweeney Todd though. It wasn't boring like Les Mis.


donnasoowho said...

I dragged my partner along to see Sweeney Todd (completely against my better judgement - but it was 40 degrees and we were desperate to go somewhere with aircon) and it was showing in the theatre that has big beanbags instead of proper seats - he totally fell asleep and started snoring really loudly. I was disappointed cause I thought while Johnny Depp was great (and a surprisingly good singer), Helena B was excellent, great costumes, great set, great weirdy camera angles it was just strangely 'meh'. It's a good story, but I don't think it's a great musical (unlike Les Miserable - which I love). I think it needed a rousing chorus number with multiple snipping barbers and singing pies revolving around the screen.

Nigel Patel said...

The first time I saw musical theatre it was Les Mis.
How was I to know.
Still for my money even with all the post Rent musicals I go for Fiddler on the Roof.
Don't suppose you can get more American than singing-emigrating Ukrainan Jews.
Never saw Sweeney Todd only the bits of it in the Kevin Smith movie Jersey Girl.

Violet said...

donnasoowho: I haven't actually seen the end of the movie yet - it was past my bedtime - but your suggested finale sounds like it would have been fun.

nigel:Fiddler of the Roof is marvellous - great tunes, great story.

rivergirlie said...

re les mis - it's right there in the title, isn't it? amazes me that so many people go to see it.
re johnny depp - did you see the libertine? (with john malkovich - another reason to see it)
i only ask, cos it was filmed around here. i know where mr depp was staying, but was sworn to secrecy.
so naturally i told everyone i knew.
(i didn't actually)

Jonathan said...

When I saw Sweeney Todd at the movies I didn't realise that it was going to be a musical... when Depp stepped onto the deck of the ship and started singing I groaned - but pretty soon I was captivated - it was a brilliant concept to have it a musical - this kept it from being too dark and depressing. I've got the DVD at home waiting to be watched again... along with a whole disc of special features that deserves my attention!

Violet said...

rivergirlie: ooh, Libertine was the one about the pervert wasn't it? Or did I get it confused with some porno movie?

jonathan: the special features are good - at least, the first 2 features (I haven't watched the rest). Esp. the one about the history of the legend of Sweeney Todd.