Sweeney Todd – Jack Williams

I very much liked Sweeney Todd, and I usually do not enjoy the horror genre as a whole. The reason I usually avoid that genre is because their plotlines tends to be easily anticipated, and the reasons for the protagonist’s evil actions rather shallow. The transition of Benjamin Barker to Sweeney Todd resembled the type of character dynamics that one might find in one of Poe’s short stories. Unavoidable and ignorant, yet self-inflicted.

Similar to the message from A Streetcar Named Desire, members of the audience wonder to themselves if the lust for revenge is a controllable or uncontrollable desire. In this case, again, it seems as if it is the ex-barber’s uncontrollable addiction to slitting the throats of his customers (instigated by Mrs. Lovett) that was the root of his evil, however, it was the initial succumbing to sin which resulted in a landslide of evil retribution. It sparks my curiosity, from a psychology standpoint, that Sweeney truly believed that revenge would be his “salvation.”

Tim Burton, known for his often dark films, definitely did not shy away from bloodshed, which I think was pretty awesome, considering that directors often limit this goriness in order to attract a larger consumer base – I like when directors do as they please for the sake of art, and not for the sake of financial profit.

Stephen Sondheim, whom we read about in the textbook, actually composed the original score for Sweeney Todd…’s initial Broadway appearance in 1979. I hope to find it online, I have yet to come across it!

28. June 2016 by John Williams
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