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|Blood and Guts - Page 2|
There's no room for humanity in the world Sweeney comes to inhabit: dog eat dog, human eat human. He sees the evil around him, and in his rage, joins in. The tragedy is this: as Sweeney rages at the human race, he stops noticing whom he's killing and ends up dispatching those he'd most wanted to save. He justifies his impersonality with: "They all deserve to die."
Sweeney Todd is about a man who, having been deprived of love, falls into hate, which is as engulfing as falling in love—and ultimately, even more suicidal. On stage, the play's magic was its music, having more life, beauty, and wit than even Sondheim's A Little Night Music. But Depp has no resonance in his voice. We hear only hoarse whisperings that spoil our sense of Sweeney as a tragic lover. He can't rise above the squalor of London through the music. On screen, the sets are too realistic and those slit throats and pools of blood don't feel like a metaphor. We're too close to the slaughter, and we miss the stage magic that reminded us this was a cautionary fairy tale.
There Will Be Blood is Paul Thomas (Boogie Nights, Magnolia) Anderson's tense study of a joylessly competitive California oil baron in 1927. It's based on Upton Sinclair's novel about the Teapot Dome Scandal, Oil!