The man behind the plan was Judge Turpin, an evil high-powered official who then took Barker’s wife and infant daughter as his own. The film picks up when Benjamin Barker, after 15 years of imprisonment and now going by the name Sweeney Todd, comes back for revenge.
But it’s hard to root for Todd, or even relate to him, for that matter. While the musical numbers are impressive (especially Depp and Alan Rickman), the film wanders aimlessly as Todd murders innocent after innocent. How murdering innocents can help Todd get his revenge is anybody’s guess.
One can only assume Todd has simply gone mad.
Director Tim Burton gives the world of Sweeney Todd his trademark grim feeling – everyday seems to be a cloudy one while everybody looks pale as a vampire. Helena Bonham Carter is solid as the Mrs. Lovett, owner of a meat-pie shop who teams up with Todd to dispose of bodies by turning them into meat pies.
But by the time Todd gets his hands on Judge Turpin, it’s hard to care or cheer, since Todd is just as evil, if not more, than Turpin. Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is worth a watch for its grand visuals (especially the lush, colorful dream sequence) and its well choreographed musical/dance-numbers. But don’t expect any emotional attachment.