Film: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Sweeney Todd (subtitled "The Demon Barber of Fleet Street") is a 2007 Tim Burton film starring Johnny Depp, Alan Rickman and Helena Bonham-Carter.It is based on the Sondheim musical of the same name, which was based on the Christopher Bond version of the legendary story of an English barber who murdered his customers and, with the help of his neighbor Mrs. Lovett, made them into pies.In this version of the story, Todd is out to get revenge on a corrupt Judge who sent him to prison on false charges, raped his wife (who then poisoned herself), "adopted" his daughter Johanna fifteen years ago and plans to marry her. Mrs. Lovett smoothly tries to dissuade him from this goal so that he can settle down with her and run a business, whilst Johanna takes a shine to a young sailor.
In addition to many of the tropes from the musical, the film provides examples of:
Adaptation Distillation: The film greatly tones down the subplot between Anthony and Johanna. All their duets from the musical have also been cut as a result.
Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Anthony has remarkably smooth skin despite his life at sea and the beating he takes early in the film. Similarly, Johanna after her time in the asylum is beautiful, even with her yellow hair perfectly combed.
City Noir: Tim Burton's dark vision of Victorian London. Ominous steamy sewers, dark and polluted streets and alleys, dirty houses and filthy rooms, corrupted and utterly evil people... Not a nice place to live.
Costume Porn: Lovett's dress in the final scene, and perhaps the one she wears in "God, That's Good".
Dark Reprise: "Not While I'm Around", "The Barber and his Wife".
Demoted to Extra: Johanna goes from the second female lead to an almost silent Living MacGuffin. Really all of the supporting characters get a lot of their parts reduced as the film chooses to focus mostly on Todd, Lovett, and Toby. Pirelli is the only supporting character whose screen/stage time remains roughly unchanged.
Downer Ending: Sweeney Todd may get his revenge, but he also unknowingly kills his long lost wife Lucy, and when he finds out Mrs. Lovett knew who Lucy was all along, he throws her into the oven to be burned alive. As he begins singing "The Barber and His Wife", Toby, who is implied to have been driven insane by what he has seen and done, emerges from the sewers and kills Todd himself, with his own razor, no less.
Evil Makeover: Sorta, or something. When Todd and Mrs. Lovett take Toby under their wing, Toby starts to get some characteristics from them, mostly the untamed hair and some eyebags and very pale skin.
Gorn: Oh so very much. There are many graphic close-ups of throats being slashed and stabbed, the blood spurting out.
Hanging Judge: Judge Turpin, even more than in the stage version. There's a new scene in which he sentences a preteen to death, and it's not really clear whether the charge is true or not — and as he and the Beadle walk out of the courtroom, the Beadle expresses that the kid "must have done something to warrant a hanging." The judge agrees, as in his worldview, everyone has done something along those lines.
Hide Your Pregnancy: Helena Bonham-Carter was pregnant during the film production, resulting in magical size-changing breasts over the course of the movie.
Ironic Echo: "Life is for the alive, my dear." Said first by Mrs. Lovett, trying to get Sweeney to move on from his dead wife. Sweeney says this line in the final song, right before, having realized her betrayal, throwing Mrs. Lovett into the oven.
Also in the same sequence, Mrs Lovett continually calls out "Poor thing!" when she reveals what actually happened to Lucy, just as she did when she lied about her.
Kick the Dog: In addition to most of the moments from the stage version, there's the Beadle, on orders from Turpin, beating Anthony bloody for the crime of "gandering" at Johanna.
Kill 'em All: Were you expecting this movie to have a different, yet happy ending? Even though this is a film version of a revenge tragedy? Sweeney Todd, Judge Turpin, Lucy, and Mrs. Lovett are all dead. Only Toby, Johanna, and Anthony are all alive. Toby is a murderer now. Anthony and Johanna do not appear at the end and are presumed to have escaped. Just before the end, Johanna got the clues needed to figure out that Sweeney was her father and that he murdered her mother as well as Turpin. It remains unknown whether she - or the law - ever actually figures it out.
Johanna is loved by Turpin and Anthony. Will she choose the beautiful young man who might help her break free — or the creepy guy who has the power to hurt her if she defies him?
Lovett and Todd have a duet where they sing about their one true love, using the same words of affection in unison. However: Lovett loves Todd, while Todd loves... a set of razors. From that point on, the things Lovett and Todd do for love just keep getting more and more depraved.
Rasputinian Death: During the final vengeance scene Judge Turpin is stabbed in the throat multiple times, eventually has his throat slit and is sent falling down a presumably long shaft. Even after that, he manages to survive long enough to grab for Mrs. Lovett's dress before he finally dies.
Reality Ensues: Once Sweeney's finished singing 'Epiphany', Mrs Lovett - not looking at all impressed - asks dryly "That's all very well, but what're we going to do about him?" Alluding to Pirelli's corpse stuffed in the trunk. Cue Todd awkwardly getting up off his knees.
Relationship Compression: In the stage version, Anthony and Johanna have quite a few duets with each other, and both are at least a little more badass. But in the film they cut out almost all of their scenes to just the bare bones, and making Anthony come off as a rather creepy stalker obsessing so much over a girl he only looked at through a window once.
Sex Is Evil and I Am Horny: Judge Turpin fills this role, fooling himself that he can protect young Johanna from the evil of other men's sexuality by forcing her to marry him and satisfy his own selfish lust. Judge Turpin is also shown in a flashback to have raped Todd's wife at a party with the witnesses laughing after having Todd shipped off to who-knows-where.
She Cleans Up Nicely: Mrs. Lovett looks less mousy and disheveled, and more well-dressed as the plot progresses.
Inverted with Lucy, who goes from a well-dressed beauty to an almost unrecognizable beggar.
Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Several main characters were left out of promotions. Some made sense like not revealing Laura Michelle Kelly also played the Beggar Woman but others were odd, such as Toby.