JKelly 5

Have Little Priest

follow the link to hear the full song referenced in the post

Mrs. Lovette, played by Helen Bohem Carter, in Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd, is one of my favorite film characters. The film, adapted from a Broadway play, entitled Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, follows the return of Mr. Sweeny Todd to London in around the 1800’s and his revenge on the Judge Turpin, played by Alan Rickman, who ruined his life so many years ago. Mrs. Lovett is the owner of a [meat] pie shop, which she claims serves “the worst pies in London”, and knew Mr. Todd before he was sent away. As the movie progresses we learn that Mrs. Lovett has always been in love with Mr. Todd. Mrs. Lovett aids in Mr. Todd’s revenge by helping him dispose of his victims, by using them to make her meat pies. Ironically her meat pies become very popular with the city. In the end of the film it is her love for Mr. Todd that is her downfall.

The film uses the character of Mrs. Lovett as a foil to Mr. Todd, her compassion for him and unending desire to help him, no matter how questionable the activity, highlights just how crazy he really is. Furthermore, she also allows us some insight into the culture of the time period. Her use of Mr. Todd’s victims in her meat pies showcases how desperate the population of London was at the time. This movie is somewhat a musical, considering it was adapted from a broadway play this shouldn’t be a surprise, but has many songs that I think gives an excellent voice to under lying themes of the movie. For example, after Mr. Todd kills his first victim and is wondering what to do with it Mrs. Lovett begins to sing about using the people in her pies. Some interesting lines in this song are,

TODD: For what’s the sound of the world out there?….

TODD: Those crunching noises pervading the air!….

TODD: It’s man devouring man, my dear! So who are we to deny it in here…

TODD: The history of the world my dear, is those below serving those up above. How gratifying it is to know that those above will serve those down below.

Todd is obviously referring to the societal and cultural atmosphere of London. And how for once, the noble man (the ones able to afford a hair cut) will finally be served to, I mean, serving the lower class. The other line that is interesting to note is,
TODD: We’ll serve anyone, meaning anyone, and to anyone, at all!!

I just thought that was a nice play on words.

Sweeny Todd is definitely a dark and slightly gory movie with a lot of spurting blood and what not but its deeper meanings laced throughout the movie and key ancillary characters, like Sacha Baron Cohen as Pirelli a competing Barber (THAT’S BORAT AND YES HE CAN SING), Alan Rickman as Judge Turpin, and Timothy Spall as the Police enforcer Beadle really aid is making Mrs. Lovett and Mr. Todd seem like they are actually doing the right thing. The scenes are very dark, with little lighting, except for those with Mrs. Lovett. One can assume that she is incharge of bringing color and life back in Mr. Todd’s world. While Mrs. Lovett is definitely not a perfect or even moral character, how can she be when she is suggesting to use priest in her pies, she is the obvious the conscious on Mr. Todd’s shoulder throughout the film. While you hope that Mrs. Lovett will have a good influence on Mr. Todd throughout the whole movie, in the end you realize that even after all Mrs. Lovett has done for him no one can save the demon barber of fleet street.

I liked this movie because of its interestingly twisted nature and of course all the singing; I’m a sucker for musicals. The world is not perfect and movies like this make us question what is good and what is evil. Mrs. Lovett also fills the criteria of being a woman in love and portrays the lengths in which some woman will go to in order to be with the one they love, no matter how psychotic the guy may be. But in the end we are reminded not everyone can be saved. I like Mrs. Lovett because she is a tough woman with a tender heart and a clever mind.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
This entry was posted in Blog 5 (Jan 10) Fave Film Character, ELYSIUM. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply