Sweeney Todd, Stephen Sondheim's bloody Broadway musical, has now been made into a motion picture by the eccentric director Tim Burton. It stars Johnny Depp as Todd, in his sixth colliboration with Burton, Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs Nellie Lovett, Sacha Baron Cohen as Signor Aldolfo Pirelli and Alan Rickman as the lusterous Judge Turpin. The film is rated R16 in New Zealand, due to Graphic violence. The film is a musical, as is the play, and features most of the songs from the original musical. The actors sing themselves.Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a Golden Globe and Academy Award winning musical thriller and the film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's stage musical of the same name. The film stars Johnny Depp in the title role, in his sixth collaboration with director Tim Burton. Helena Bonham Carter also stars as Mrs. Lovett, in her fifth collaboration. The film was released in the United States on December 21, 2007 and in the United Kingdom on 25 January 2008 to enthusiastic reviews. It won the award for Best Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical) and Best Actor (Comedy or Musical) at the 65th Golden Globe Awards and was nominated for Best Actor and Best Costume Design and won Best Art Direction at the 80th Academy Awards.
Benjamin Barker, a skilled barber, is falsely charged and sentenced to a life of hard labor by the corrupt Judge Turpin, who lusts after Barker's wife Lucy. Fifteen years later, under the assumed name "Sweeney Todd", Barker escapes the penal colony and takes to the sea, where he is found shipwrecked and rescued by sailor Anthony Hope aboard the ship Bountiful headed for England. Upon arrival they both sing "No Place Like London" where Todd also tells the story of the barber (Himself). Todd returns to his old flat above Nellie Lovett'spie shop on Fleet Street. Lovett is startled by Todd's presence in her shop and we learn after she sings "The Worst Pies In London that it was because she hasn't seen a customer in weeks. After Todd asks her about the room upstairs she sings "Poor Thing" and tells him that his wife took poison after being raped by Turpin, who then adopted Todd's daughter Johanna as his ward. Todd then vows revenge and reopens his parlor in the flat above Mrs. Lovett's pie shop, where he sings "My Friends" to his old razors.Wandering the streets of London, Anthony glimpses Johanna sitting by a window above the street and singing "Green Finch and Linnet Bird" where we learn that she is longing to be free from The Judge. He instantly falls in love with her, whereupon a crazed beggar womanasks for money in the song "Alms! Alms!" and when Anthony asks her about Johanna she tells him that Johanna is Judge Turpin's ward. A disapproving Turpin and his associate, the Beadle Bamford, threaten the sailor with grave injury should he return and violently eject him from the judge's house. Far from being discouraged, Anthony becomes determined to elope with Johanna and sings "Johanna".
Todd and Lovett go to the market, where Todd denounces a fraudulent hair tonic made by the Italian street barber Adolfo Pirelli and his young assistant, Tobias Toby Ragg who sings the song "Pirelli's Miracle Elixir". Todd challenges Pirelli, a self-proclaimed master barber, to prove his shaving skill in a speed contest. Todd invites Beadle Bamford out of the crowd to judge the contest. Then Pirelli sings "The Contest". Unfortunatly he is to busy to desire himself and Todd wins. Having shown himself the more skilled barber, Todd invites the Beadle to his newly-opened barbershop for a complimentary shave. The Beadle agrees to come before week's end.
Todd is not patient to wait for the Judge to come and Lovett tells him to relax in the song "Wait". Pirelli later visits Todd's barbershop. He then reveals himself as Todd's former assistant, Davey Collins, and attempts to blackmail Todd with knowledge of his true identity. Infuriated, Todd knocks Pirelli unconscious with a metal teapot while Mrs. Lovett keeps Tobias occupied downstairs. Tobias suddenly realizes that Pirelli has an appointment and runs to the barber shop. Todd tells Toby that Pirelli has left alone and promises him that he can have some gin if he waits for Pirelli downstairs. After Tobias leaves Todd goes to a chest where a human hand is sticking out. Todd opens the chest and slits Pirelli's throat.
Turpin tells Beadle Bamford of his plan to marry a reluctant Johanna. Bamford advises him to visit Todd for tonsorial adornment in the song "Ladies In Their Sensitivities" in order to win Johanna over. Turpin agrees and proceeds to the barber shop. Todd welcomes Turpin, lulling the judge into relaxation while shaving him and they both sing "Pretty Women". As Todd readies to slit an unsuspecting Turpin's throat, Anthony bursts in, blurting out his plan to elope with Johanna. Recognizing the sailor, Turpin leaves enraged, vowing to never return to Todd's barber shop and to see to it that no other man ever sees Johanna again. Furious at the thwarting of his revenge, Todd sings "Epiphany" in which he rationalises a plan to vent his murderous rage upon his customers while waiting for another chance to kill Turpin. In an epiphany of her own, Lovett suggests they dispose of Pirelli and the bodies of Todd's future customers by baking them into pies in order to improve her business. Todd enthusiastically agrees and they sing "A Little Priest". Todd rigs his barber chair with pedal-operated mechanics to more easily dispose of his victims through a trapdoor into Lovett's basement bakehouse. Meanwhile, Anthony begins to search London for Johanna. Todd murders costumers while singing a reprise of "Johanna". Anthony sings at the same time while searching for her.Mrs. Lovett takes in and employs young Toby, who is unaware of Pirelli's murder. They sell alot of Meat Pies while singing "God That's Good". As Todd's barber shop and Lovett's pie shop prosper, no one but the mad beggar woman suspects anything amiss, and Todd begins to reconcile himself to the unlikelihood of achieving his revenge and ever seeing his daughter again. Mrs. Lovett reveals her desire to marry Todd in the song "By The Sea", but soon Anthony returns to the shop to inform Todd that he has located Johanna at Fogg's Asylum. Realizing a second chance at vengeance and seeing his daughter again, Todd instructs Anthony to disguise himself as a wigmaker's apprentice and break Johanna out. In order to lure the Judge to the barber shop, Todd sends Toby to Turpin with a letter informing him of Anthony's plan to abduct Johanna.
Upon returning, Toby confides in Mrs. Lovett about his growing distrust of Todd. While singing "Not While I'm Around", he vows to let no harm come to her, as she is the closest thing to a parent he has ever known. A torn and touched Lovett coaxes Toby to the basement bakehouse, locks him inside, and proceeds to alert Todd. On their way back to the bakehouse, the pair are surprised by Beadle Bamford's arrival to investigate reports of foul odors coming from the bakehouse chimney at night. While Todd lures the Beadle into his barber shop, Toby finds the grisly remains of butchered corpses in the bakehouse, thus discovering how the pies are made. The Beadle's corpse then comes crashing down through the trap door, sending a fearful Toby fleeing into the sewer.
Then "Final Scene" begins. Todd and Lovett enter the bakehouse to murder Toby but cannot find him. Anthony arrives at the barber shop with Johanna, disguised as a sailor, where he tells her to wait for him. Johanna hides when the crazed beggar woman enters the barber shop. Todd returns to the shop upstairs after hearing noises (leaving Mrs Lovett to find and kill Toby) and is surprised by the mad beggar woman, who seems to recognize him. Hearing Turpin approaching the shop, a distracted Todd quickly slits the beggar woman's throat and drops her through the trapdoor. Just a few moments later the Judge enters looking for his ward. Todd reassures Turpin of Johanna's safety and that she only wants his love before he offers him a shave before going to see her. Turpin reluctantly agrees, and once seated, Todd reveals his true identity and brutally murders the judge, stabbing him in the neck repeatedly before slitting his throat.
As Todd awaits Toby's death and Anthony,s arrival he hears sounds from his trunk and approaches.
Todd then discovers Johanna hiding in his barbershop. Not recognizing her dressed in men's clothing, he approaches her to kill her, but is interrupted by Mrs. Lovett's screams from the basement. He leaves Johanna unharmed with a warning to forget his face, and rushes down to the bakehouse. There Mrs. Lovett explains that Turpin had clutched onto her frock but was now dead. Mrs. Lovett desperately tries to dispose of the beggar woman's corpse. Todd tells Lovett to open the door to the oven. As she hesitantly does so, the oven fire illuminates the beggar woman's hair and face. Todd recognizes the corpse as his wife, Lucy, whom he had believed long dead. Realizing that Lovett knew Lucy was alive but had lied to him, Todd begins to waltz manically with Lovett around the basement bakehouse, reassuring her that everything will be all right and that he returns her love, before hurling her into the fiery oven and locking its door. Todd then returns to Lucy and cradles her dead body as an enraged Toby emerges from the sewer, picks up Todd's discarded razor, and slits Todd's throat. Todd dies, his blood spilling onto his dead wife.
* Johnny Depp plays Benjamin Barker/Sweeney Todd, a barber who slits the throats of innocent customers in madness after the loss of his wife and daughter. Depp first learned of Sweeney Todd in 2000, when he was given an original cast recording of the musical by Burton. Depp was not a fan of the genre, but liked this musical. Depp said when he signed on, "How many chances do you get at a musical about a serial killer?" The actor cited Peter Lorre in Mad Love (1935) as his influence, and practiced the songs while filming Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Depp recorded demo tapes of himself in West Hollywood, working with Bruce Witkin to shape his own vocals without a qualified voice coach.  Much of Sweeney's dialogue was cut from the musical. Depp said, "We focused on the dangerous and unsettling idea of stillness, that he doesn’t look many people in the eye, or say much", an idea Burton compared to Boris Karloff and other actors in classic horror films, where "his eyes and the music [...] tell the story." While Depp had formed a band as an adult, he was unsure of whether he could sustain Stephen Sondheim's lyrics. He appreciated that there were "a lot of half-steps... kind of go G to A-flat to A to B-flat. It's super, ultra complicated; these notes that shouldn't work together at times." Producer Richard Zanuck admitted it was "millions of dollars committed on an assumption. [But] we all said to one another, 'Johnny is a smart guy. He would never put himself in this position if he didn't think he could do it.'" Sondheim felt, "I figured he'd have a light baritone... I love him as an actor, and always have. Put those things together, I didn't hesitate for one second." Sondheim explained to Depp the performance would be more about acting than singing. Depp chose a punk rock approach to his performance, citing inspiration from Anthony Newley and Iggy Pop, the latter whom he called a "very aggressive crooner. Especially in the early stuff, there’s something about [Sweeney's] attack that’s haunting." * Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett, Todd's partner-in-crime who bakes the corpses of his victims into pies. Bonham Carter, who's "wanted to be Mrs. Lovett since she was 11", wanted to prove to herself that being cast would not be an act of nepotism on partner Burton's part. The actress was trained to sing by Ian Adam, and Sondheim watched around twelve of her audition tapes, which he approved of: "Even in a recording studio, wearing a schmatte, she is as beautiful and sexy as they come." In total she spent three months on singing lessons while pregnant during the production of the film. The character is often singing while she moves and behaves, a behavior which Bonham Carter dubbed "the Olympics of multi-tasking". In addition she practiced pie baking for many hours while singing her lyrics at the same time, commenting "you had to do it to syncopated Sondheim rhythm and sing at the same time." * Alan Rickman as Judge Turpin, an evil judge who locked away Todd and raped his wife. He adopted Todd's daughter, Johanna, as his "ward", on whom he spies voyeuristically through a hole in her wall. He intends to marry her, although she is no older than sixteen. Rickman said, "The music is sort of constant, and it slips in and out of speech and song. Because it's in real rooms and real spaces, the move from speaking into singing becomes much more organic." * Timothy Spall as Beadle Bamford, Turpin's personal assistant. * Sacha Baron Cohen as David Collins/Signor Adolfo Pirelli, Todd's British (Italian in disguise) rival and former employee. In his audition, Baron Cohen sang songs from Fiddler on the Roof. Burton commented, "I wish we had a camera, because he literally went through the whole score of Fiddler on the Roof." * Laura Michelle Kelly as Lucy Barker, Todd's wife. Kelly is the only cast member with significant experience in West End Musicals. * Jayne Wisener as Johanna Barker, Todd's daughter and the ward of Judge Turpin. * Jamie Campbell Bower as Anthony Hope, a sailor who befriends Todd and falls for Johanna. * Ed Sanders as Tobias "Toby" Ragg, Pirelli's gin-loving former assistant who later joins Todd and Lovett. He worked and lived in a workhouse during his early years before being taken in by Pirelli.