If Johnny Depp lacks the particular furnace-in-the-belly manic projection of a Len Cariou from the original Broadway production, he still projects an admirable ferocity (it helps that his rogue’s gallery of prior roles has given his an audience familiarity with what otherwise be seen as broadly theatrical cosmetic application; a make-up that goes miles in disguising the actor’s rather pasty and unprepossessing androgyny) that is almost revelatory in one of the leading figures of his generation of film actors who are less convincing in depicting realistic mature adults than genre fantasy figures. Depp headlines in the role of the wrongly imprisoned Todd, who uses his skills in barbering as a means to exact a particularly bloody vengeance on, not just the corrupt judge (Alan Rickman) who falsely incarcerated him, raped his wife and stole his child as his own ward, but on humanity at large. In concert with the equally (one would have to be) insane Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter, in an inexplicable example of miscasting by way of nepotism) his victims are disposed of by handily baking them into popular meat pies, as Todd slashes his way to an unhinged revenge that eventually causes him to destroy the thing he claims to have loved the most. It’s also a musical.
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