"truly a work of art on all levels, and one can feel the loyalty to Sondheims creation throughout"

Burtons adaptation of the broadway musical thriller "Sweeney Todd" is nothing short of genius. Johnny Depp scowls, sings, and slashes his way stunningly throughout. Whilst Helena Bonham-Carter as Mrs.Lovett provides the perfect delusional partner in crime, disposing of his victims by baking them in pies and serving them to the unsuspecting London public, for love.

Stephen Sondheims masterpiece first opened on broadway in 1979 starring Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou. Audiences were stunned and thrilled by the ground breaking score and titilated by the gruesome story based on the old London legend of "Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street".

The films main cast are not broadway vocalists, however this does not detract from the work, indeed it suits it well in this form as not to put off anyone not familiar or comfortable with "muvicals". The young supporting cast Jamie Campbell Bower, Laura Michelle Kelly, Jayne Wisener and Ed Sanders do have theatrical voices however which brings a nice touch to the more tender if uneasy moments of the story. Alan Rickman and Timothy Spall are delightfully demonic and loathsome as the villians who are responsible for Sweeneys cataclysmic character change into the murderous revenge seeking barber. I particularly liked the extra scene (not in the stage production) written for Judge Turpin ( Rickman) which enphasizes his black hearted villainy. Sasha Baron Cohen will surprise many with his fleeting and nearly scene stealing appearance.

This film is truly a work of art on all levels, and one can feel the loyalty to Sondheims creation throughout. Purists of the stage production may well miss the material that has been left out, but I'm sure they will also agree that for Tim Burtons vision of the terrible tale, the focus needed to be fixed on the main characters and peripheral choruses would detract and not enhance on film. This is a bloody terrific and terrifying treat for anyone over 18 ( and not squeamish!).