about a chair?

i’ve been really wanting to see juno. i can’t remember who i was with or where for sure, but when i saw the trailer i knew i’d want to see that one and not wait for video. also, i’d been wanting to see sweeney todd since before it came out. i thought it would be the holiday pick of the family while we were together. after seeing it, perhaps it was best that we didn’t make it as a group. i think it may have been a little too violent for the faint of hearts.

anyway, i decided to see both of them last night. just had a need to get out and get washed into someone else’s story. juno first, then sweeney. juno just seemed like it would be incredibly charming, witting, and rather quirky. it was all those things, and a little more. i did hear someone complain that they didn’t laugh throughout the whole thing. . . well, it wasn’t really supposed to be hilarious, i don’t think. just a good story with both funny and sad moments. and as the character and narrator says, it all began with a chair, and then ended with a chair. (but i won’t give away what it means.)

then there was sweeney todd. i’ve heard the music (not to a great extent, but heard it) and i’m pretty sure i read the play for a class. . . but i’d never seen a live performance. one of my friends said he was a little disappointed because there was a song cut and that helena bonham carter doesn’t live up to angela lansbury. . . what?! the movie doesn’t live up to the book or a previous version?!. . . NO, say it isn’t so?! anyway, what i do know of the live version is that many theatre technicians abhor seeing it poke up on a season schedule. the name invokes anxiety over budget crunches, mechanical prowess, or the rental fee for procuring that damn chair. a barber chair that will flip back and spit a person out through a trap in the floor. it’s a bit of a mechanical difficulty when working with small budgets which so many theatres do.

it was bloodier than i expected. probably better that my aunt felt like staying at home. . . don’t know if she would’ve made it through the first throat slashing let alone the last few. i do think i was expecting a little more baz luhrmann for some bizarre reason. i knew it was tim burton, and saw that very clearly,-even wanted to see it more because it was tim burton. . . but i wanted it to flow as well as a baz luhrmann, or a julie taymor musical. . . and it didn’t. maybe it works better on stage when there are more things to look at, other than johnny depp striking a pretty pose (as nice as that is to look at). for all the prettyness, and striking shots, i might have liked it better as sweeney proclaimed, ‘at last, my arm is complete.’ while holding out his barber knife caught in a shaft of eerie light from his loft window, if there was the terrible, dreary, dismal view of the victorian world around him that he threatened- as an audience would see on stage. granted, in the same sequence he does rifle through the streets presenting himself as an invisible threat. . . but it doesn’t hold quite the same power.

eh, if you are wondering, it is worth seeing. . . it is bloody. . . and, if you are like me. . . you may find the trailer for mama mia, the movie as the actual terror for your evening.

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