Saturday, December 22, 2007

Holiday Fare?

James has returned to town for Christmas! Last night, James called and asked if I wanted to go get dinner and see a movie. I gleefully left ZBoy and GDK in the care of Darling Man and disappeared from my life for a few hours. We met Matt and his girlfriend Shar for dinner at the mall's food court, then headed down the hall to the theatre.

Our movie? SWEENEY TODD!


Coming from a background full of theatre (my grandfather is an award-winning stage actor and my brother James has auditioned for several plays in NY), we've seen quite a lot of it over the years. And growing up, Sweeney Todd was a favorite. Especially the version with Angela Landsbury.

This song is so funny! I was interested to see how Helena Bonham-Carter and Johnny Depp did with the story. I have to say that I was quite impressed.

This is not the whole song - but for comparison's sake... well, you get the idea.

Sweeney Todd

Now - a word of warning - If you have no idea what the story of Sweeney Todd is all about, you need to educate yourself before going. Matt, unfortunately, did not warn Shar or tell her anything about Sweeney Todd. When she came out, she looked like death warmed over. She was pale and her eyes were wide and a little blank. Think shell-shocked. This little episode could be the death knell of their relationship - it depends on how well Shar bounces, I think.

Tim Burton outdid himself on this one. It IS quite bloody, and the scenes where the bodies are dropped into the basement are graphic - even if you know it's not a real body being dropped. The blood is bright red and rather cartoonish, but the spray tends to be shocking anyway.

James and I howled with laughter throughout, but the rest of the theatre was silent. You get the idea that they had showed up for a "Johnny Depp" film in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" sort of tradition and were rather dismayed to find themselves in the midst of a gory musical.

But it was well done enough that the audience applauded when it was over. By Sweeney, I think they got it!


min said...

When I was a kid and helped my mom painting scenery for Gainesville Little Theater, I remembered being fascinated by the barber chair 'effects' during the "Sweeney Todd" rehersals. The old play had a different story and the music was completely different as well. I still get snatches of the old tunes running through my head. I miss the old songs, but was not disappointed in the Broadway was just different. I can't wait to see the Depp do it!!
Was he wonderful?

Sayre said...

He was! I had pegged him early on as an actor to watch (along with Robert Downey, Jr. way back when) because I felt like he was one of those guys who could do most anything. I was right - including singing this part. It wasn't as "professional" as the stage actors, but it had a rawness to it that somehow conveyed more meaning to every line.

Alan Rickman is in it too, as Judge Turpin and as much as I love Alan, I left feeling more than a little creeped out by him... more so than Snape ever did to me.

If you have a delicate tummy, I suggest you forego the popcorn and candy and eat dinner AFTERWARDS. While the blood is cartoonish, some bits are a bit too graphic for flutter-bellies.