Sweeney’s story Essay
The plot of the movie focuses solely around Sweeney Todd’s story. The musical version also contains tangent plots that touch on Sweeney’s story. These periphery plots round out the story and demonstrate how the characters lives unfold right into Sweeney’s hands. It is unknown whether the reduction in character development and plot is due to keeping the movie to a specific length, if it is due to the actors lack of singing skills or for some other unknown reason. There are elements of the characters stories from the musical but they are not presented completely in the movie.
The first secondary character we are introduced to in the movie is Sweeney Todd’s young sailor friend Anthony Hope. Anthony parts with Todd to seek his fortune and see the wonders of London. A young woman sitting in her window, Joanna, captivates him. Joanna is actually Todd’s daughter and the Judge is her current guardian. In the musical Anthony and Joanna fall in love and plan to run away together. Anthony frequently visits her and they sing the song ‘Kiss me’. This courtship is exceptionally short in the movie.
We see the first time that Anthony and Joanna see each other but that is the extent to which we are shown their secret love affair. The song ‘kiss me’ was not included in the movie or any other secret meetings. Anthony’s training as a wig maker and rescue of Joanna from the asylum is abbreviated. It is only included as a plot point to lure the Judge to Sweeny. The love affair is almost an after thought to the story line, it must happen for certain events to unfold but the love felt between Joanna and Anthony is not nearly as passionate or important compared to its portrayal in the musical.
The beadle is a large part of the musical and has his own song, mainly “parlor songs”. This takes place towards the end of the show; there has been a complaint about a stink coming from Mrs. Lovett’s bake house and Beadle Bamford has come to investigate. Mrs. Lovett and Beadle Bamford sing while waiting for Todd to return. The beadle frequently is shown throughout the musical performance, luring Lucy, Todd’s wife, to the Judge, judging the shaving competition between Pirelli and Todd, advising the Judge and investigating Mrs.Lovett’s pie shop.
All of these events are present in the movie but are not stressed as they are in the musical. The musical stresses how evil the beadle is and how he manipulates those around him which in turn makes it easy for Todd to manipulate him. This might be personal opinion, but in the movie he is almost passed over. He is present in all the correct scenes but his importance feels like it is overshadowed by Sweeney Todd. We know that he is a weasel but we are not given enough time truly hate him.
An additional character that is a smaller role but at the end proves to be exceptionally surprising is the role of the Beggar woman, formally Sweeney Todd’s wife. During the musical she is constantly popping up and causing trouble. She meets Todd upon his arrival at the boat yard, she bumps into Anthony twice as he is watching or waiting for Joanna, she attends Mrs. Lovett’s grand opening where she is thrown out, she is constant complaining about the stink form the bake house and how evil is lurking there.
She is constantly circling Sweeney Todd’s world but does not come directly into contact with Sweeney until after he has killed her. The beggar woman does turn up in some of these scenes in the movie but not nearly to the extent that she does in the musical. When watching the musical you truly realize that this woman is deranged and crazy. She is seen only a few times during the movie and while it is suggested that she is crazy, she is not seen enough for the audience to truly believe her insanity.
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