The film features a few cut songs from the Broadway musical. They are: “The Ballad of Sweeney Todd” (and it’s many reprises); “Ah, Miss”; “Johanna” (as sung by Judge Turpin); “Parlour Songs”; “City on Fire”; “Epilogue”. As well as the elimination of singing of the ensemble completely. There are also a few cuts within the remaining songs. The only songs to remain in tact are: “Epiphany”, “Pretty Women”, “Johanna” (both Anthony’s and Sweeney’s), “The Worst Pies in London”, “Poor Thing” and “My Friends”.
And that was my biggest complaint! Sure, they needed to cut back for timing, but some of the awesomeness was the ensemble/”Greek Chorus” parts. And they changed the plot a little: Sweeney builds his own chair instead of orders it, among others. And how can they leave out “City on Fire” with the lunatics running the streets of London? You’d think Tim Burton would be all over that. The cuts of songs made Johanna have an absolutely useless role. And can we get an epilogue please? It was so needed. It is hard for me to judge the movie because I know literally every word and every note so I cringed when something was left out. Also, they seemed to cut out the humurous lines. Yes, there are several hymurous parts to i, but I guess Tim decided to go with horror movie, not black comedy.
But otherwise, it was good. Johhny Depp’s best work, I think and it was cool to see Sweeney/Ms. Lovett as a younger goth couple. Sacha Baron Cohen, pretty good. Costumes/makeup- should win the Oscar hands down. The singers were not strong, but whatdya goin’ do? But Sweeney Todd is probably my favorite music ever so I don’t think anyone can live up to the expectation.
For those of you that don’t know, I was in the orchestra for my high school’s production of the show (I know, what high school does this? Luckily we had a great music/drama program) and it was the one experience in high school that I actually enjoyed. High school musicians playing Sondheim? It totally improved my playing about 300%. Sondheim is awesome to play, even after a thousand times. I loved the experience and I loved seeing it put together. I don’t really remember the actors who were in it, but I remember them being good. I wonder how a high school production sounded? The music is pretty difficult. To me, it sounded awesome. The year after that we did South Pacific which sucked so, so badly and was so boring to play (the cello had some down beats for about 5,000 measures and barely any melodies) and the show was horrific.
There also seems to be a trend of musicals being made into movies, which really irks me, because it totally cheapens the musical experience. The only musical that I would LOVE to see as a musical is Assasins, another Sondheim musical. Can you imagine the possibilities? It will never get made because some conservatives may find it innapropriate (It’s a musical about people in the past who have assasinated/attempted to assasinate US presidents, and they all interact with each other and give their reasons why).