Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

MUSICAL DRAMA; 1hr 56min

STARRING: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter

Pie-eyed: Depp and Bonham Carter

London barber Benjamin Barker (Depp), consigned to the slammer for 15 years by a rogue judge (Alan Rickman) who fancied his fair wife (Laura Michelle Kelly), emerges bitter and vengeful, as you would. Whether you would then set about barbering and butchering people with the gusto of a confirmed lunatic is a whole other hairball. But that is precisely the direction the doomed Sweeney Todd — Barker's adopted alias — takes in director Tim Burton’s lustily gory adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s 1979 musical.


If the picaresque Depp is just the man for a heartbroken, murderous singing barber, Burton with his fruity filmic ways is a snip as his director. The two have worked together six times — most lately with Corpse Bride — but this could be their nuttiest, most noirish go-round yet. Scowling beneath a skunk-striped tangle of hair, Mr Todd finds his dishevelled female match in love-struck pie maker Mrs Nellie Lovett (Bonham Carter). Rickman is devilishly ideal, and Sacha Baron Cohen drops by as a flamboyant (of course!) rival coiffeur. Zip-zap! What’s not to love?