What made it so great? The story (a shave and a haircut, two cuts). The singing (fine, so they’re not professional, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t damn effective). The art direction (save for the brilliant splashes of blood, it almost looked with a old-fashioned black-and-white picture). The Johnny. The Helena. Really, I can’t think of two more perfectly cast people for the roles of Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett.
While Johnny Depp is getting most of the ink for his singularly intense portrayal of a man hell-bent (literally) on revenge, Helena Bonham Carter gives the story its melancholy heart. Plus, dude, her décolletage is practically a character all its own. Pretty soon it’s going to start demanding a film credit. And even though she is made up to look like a deranged ghost who fell in with the goth kids who hang out by the 7-Eleven, she has hardly looked lovelier. What can I say, death becomes her.
p.s. I concur, Anthony and Johanna were by far the film’s weakest parts (though, ironically, its best voices).