Sweeney Todd Analysis
Benjamin Barker, a skilled barber, is falsely charged and sentenced to a life of hard labor in Australia by the corrupt Judge Turpin, who lusts after Barker's wife Lucy. Now under the assumed name "Sweeney Todd", Barker returns to London with sailor Anthony Hope. At his old Fleet Street lodgings above Mrs. Nellie Lovett's pie shop, he is led to believe that Lucy, having been raped by Turpin, has poisoned herself, and his teenage daughter Johanna is now Turpin's ward, and like her mother before her, is the object of his unwanted affections. Todd vows revenge, reopening his barber shop in the upstairs flat. While roaming London, Anthony spots Johanna and falls in love with her, but is ejected from the Judge's house by Turpin and his associate, Beadle Bamford. Turpin, grooming himself one day, and was prepped to be killed by Sweeney as he sits for his shave. His plan thwarted, Todd has an epiphany, and decides to vent his murderous rage upon his customers while waiting for another chance to kill Turpin. He is indiscriminate about his victims he believes that he is punishing the corrupt aristocracy for their exploitation of those below them and, at the same time, saving the lower classes from their misery. Lovett becomes his willing accomplice, suggesting they dispose of the bodies by baking them into pies to improve her business. Todd enthusiastically agrees, and rigs his barber's chair with a pedal-operated mechanism, which deposits his victims through a trap door into Lovett's bakehouse. As the weeks pass, Todd's murders accumulate. Meanwhile, Anthony begins to search for Johanna, who was sent by Turpin to Fogg's insane asylum as punishment for her refusal to marry him. The barbering and pie-making business prospers financially, and Lovett takes in young Toby. Anthony finally discovers Johanna's whereabouts and, following Todd's plan, poses as a wig-maker's apprentice, allowing him access to the asylum to put a rescue plan into action. Todd's motive for assisting is to lure Turpin back to the barber shop, and he sends Toby to the courthouse to let the judge know where he will find Johanna. Toby has become wary of Todd, and when he returns he tells Lovett of his distrust, unaware of her complicity in his crimes. He promises to protect Mrs. Lovett, whom he has come to love as a surrogate mother. Beadle Bamford arrives at the barber shop and is murdered by Todd, and Lovett informs Todd of Toby's suspicions. The pair search for Toby. He is nowhere to be found, having hidden in the sewers after seeing the Beadle's body drop into the room. Meanwhile, Anthony brings a disguised Johanna to the shop, where she hides herself in a trunk in a corner of the room. An insane beggar woman who has been pestering Todd, Lovett and Anthony throughout the film now makes her way into the shop. As Todd enters, she claims that she recognizes him. Just then, Turpin's voice is heard. Todd quickly slits the beggar woman's throat and deposits her body through the trap door. As Turpin enters, Todd lies to him that Johanna had repented, and offers a free shave. Todd then reveals his true identity and stabs Turpin in the neck numerous times before finally slitting his throat and dropping him through the trap door. As Johanna peeks out of the trunk, Todd spots her and prepares to slit her throat as well, not recognizing her as his daughter. A scream from Lovett diverts him to the basement, where she tells him that Turpin had still been alive and tried to grab at her dress before bleeding to death. Viewing the corpses in the light of the bakehouse fire, Todd discovers that the beggar woman was his wife, Lucy, whom he had believed to be dead based on Lovett's account of the poisoning. Todd realizes that Lovett knew Lucy was alive. Lovett points out that she never said Lucy died; and, after attempting to convince Sweeney that she misled him for his own good, she confesses she lied because she loves him and would be a better wife than...
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