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Sweeney Todd:Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) Dir. Tim Burton. The Vue Cinema,Hull

On his return to London from a wrongful sentence of Hard Labour, Benjamin Barker seeks vengeance on the evil Judge Turpin re inventing himself as Sweeney Todd, demon barber of Fleet Street…


Any film this year that is better than Tim Burton’s magnificent interpretation of Stephen Sondheim’s musical will have to really go some.


This is a brilliant picture, the usual Burton signatures are there in the ambience and atmosphere, the cast are wonderful with Depp a must for the Best Actor gong at the Oscars, ably supported by the chilling Alan Rickman, the bonkers Timothy Spall and a spellbinding performance from Helen Bonham Carter as Todd’s unlikely accomplice, Mrs. Lovett.


In addition Sacha Baron Cohen’s cameo as the faux Italian tonic merchant was an unexpected high, and the youngsters ably led by Ed Sanders all have glittering futures based on this film.


Stylish with heavy noir overtones, funny and ebullient with a cracking soundtrack. What more could you want from a film?


Tim Burton has produced a modern masterpiece.


My only gripe lies with a way over the top 18 Certificate in the UK. Ireland, Japan and the Czech Republic took a more pragmatic view with a 15 rating.


It’s all about context. Sure, there are the inevitable throat slittings, but the “blood” is patently made believe and there is no real gore. You don’t hear the cutting sound which would have made it much more gruesome.


It’s Sweeney Todd for heaven’s sake. Has no one got a sense of what goes on in the real world at the BBFC? Vacancy was a 15, and to me was much more violent and potentially upsetting.



 But that’s not Burton’s fault. A great picture, which showcases British Film at its world beating best.


About dermotrathbone

Writer and co author "Through Red Lenses". Activist Unite the Union, Save Our NHS Hull. Fan of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Hull FC, Munster and Ireland Rugby. Views are mine alone and may not reflect the organisations concerned.


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