It’s a pleasure to hear Johnny Depp sing. I laughed at several points throughout the movie, so I think that makes this a successful black comedy.
The dark, heavy atmosphere of the film was set on the first note, when the letter ‘D’ of “DreamWorks” appeared, and it was maintained throughout the entire grey, gloomy, bloody film. Had it not been for the occasional breaks from this depressed atmosphere, this film might have been too suffocating.
But the extravagant, colorful flashbacks not only provided drastic contrast to the tone of the film, they also made it all the more dreadful. The life of Benjamin Barker before he became Sweeney Todd, and the life that Mrs. Lovett dreamed to have. I was worried that the story would have no place to go; Sweeney Todd basically seemed too devilish from the get-go and I thought he could finish his enemy in 5 minutes, but these beautiful, discordant flashes, which were some of the saddest moments of the story, brought depth and dimension to the story.
As far as the plot goes, it was quite expectable. The surprise ending was not a surprise for me, as I already saw it coming when that surprise character first appeared. And the love of the young man and Barker’s daughter was quite honestly stupid and cliche (well-put by Natasha: “I can think of lots of ways to deal with strange men ranging the street like tomcats […] and giving him my housekey is not one of them.”), but those are not really important for a movie like this. This is a musical about the vengeance of a tortured, deranged man who declared war on the world. The music, imagery, and moment-to-moment feelings were what made this movie.
Oh, there was also more blood than I anticipated, so I don’t recommend watching it with moms and dads.