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Sweeney Todd: Tim Burton’s movie version

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Appealingly fleet in pacing, Tim Burton’s adaptation of the opera — filmed in two colors: sepia and BLOOD RED — plays up the mordant comedy with stylized performances from all principals. Pasty, broody Johnny Depp, distracted by vengeance, anchors film as Sweeney Todd with a very inward, focused melancholy. Pasty, frazzled Helena Bonham Carter holds up much of the comedy with her insouciant, greasy gaiety as mad scientist of pies Mrs. Lovett. Music is competent, but players mumble too much, but that’s not a problem because the simple, pantomime-like nature of the story communicates everything you need to know through body language. Cliched objectification of walking plot points Lucy, Sweeney’s wife, and Joanna, Sweeney’s daughter, severely mars an otherwise lightweight and satisfying feature.

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