Analysing of Revenge/Thriller Trailers:’Sweeney Todd: the demon barber of Fleet Street’…

Posted: October 28, 2010 in Media

 

I know it is quite far into the course to be researching trailers and films…but I figured it wouldn’t hurt. And also I realised that I have been influenced by the fabulous horror/thriller/revenge/ musical ‘Sweeney Todd’ (posters situated above) quite a bit in my own trailer but erm…I haven’t analysed it yet to prove it. So, here’s the trailer…

Genre…

From the trailer I think it is pretty easy to judge the film to be a hybrid- the most prominent genres being musical/revenge/thriller(though it is regularly argued to be a horror also but I personally don’t think the trailer portrays this and I’d go even further to say that the film itself doesn’t either). Well from the start the audience know the film will be based around a narrative of revenge- because the protagonist has a happy, normal life (the equilibrium) and it is then all taken away from him (disruption). But on his journey back to the place where it happened, and due to his cry for vengeance the audience can figure out the film itself will be of the revenge genre. I don’t think it’s perhaps as obvious that the film is a musical, but we do hear the protagonist singing to a crowd who appears not to hear him- like a soliloquy that is directly from the character’s mind but only the audience can hear, but in the form of song. Nevertheless, hearing him sing and the constant use of music and characters dancing insinuates the film will be a musical.Thriller? Well I think the trailer makes the film seem like it will be a thriller due to its dark and tense mood- the secrets it does not give away (like what really happened to Sweeney’s wife and whether he’ll get his revenge or not) suggests the film itself will be tense and mysterious. I also think it’s themes and general narrative comes across as quite dark- like thriller’s usually are- because it is suggested that the protagonist and his family has been through horrific things and he will therefore do brutal things to those who inflicted the initial pain- suggesting violence and bloodshed- sometimes regarded as a convention in thriller films.

Narrative…

Well I think the trailer clearly establishes the basic outline of the narrative of the film…

THe equilibrium is simple- Benjamin Barker has everything he could ever dream of- he has a wife (Lucy) and daughter (Johanna) and together they make one big happy family. But the equilibrium is quickly disturbed by the villain (Judge Turpin) who banishes Barker for life, though the details of why and how he does this are left untold so that the audience has these things to wonder about. And then this leaves the audience to wonder just how Barker’s wife and daughter will cope without him there to protect them- will they be in the hands of the villain? If so, what will he do to them? etc  And then we see the film return to the ‘present day’ and reveal Barker returning to his home after being banished for 15 years on a false charge- this leads the audience to wonder how this incident has affected the characters, especially that of Barker and his wife and child, and also what he may find waiting for him on his return. The protagonist then seems to have the problem of being in the dark about what has happened, to which Mrs Lovett steps in as her role as helper and fills him in on what has happened since his depature- she explains Lucy has gone and Johanna is left in the care of the Judge- so here we wonder how Barker will react and what he will do in order to try and get his old life back/restore the equilibrium. It is obvious here also that we see that the protagonist has changed due to the problems/disruptions that have affected him, but we are unsure of what this character named Sweeney Todd (really Benjamin Barker who has adopted a new ailas) is capable of doing and how he’ll react to the Judge seeming to have completely stolen his previous life. We then see him constructing something of the sort with a barber’s chair, and we know this may have something to do with vengeance but are not sure how it all fits in. Todd is then seen to swear that he will stop for no one in his quest for revenge- making him seem violent and perhaps a very changed character because of what he’s been put through- but how does he plan on getting his revenge? And will he get away with it?? All the talk of shaving and scenes with Sweeney and his beloved razors indicate he is going to put his barber’s skills to good use in order to get revenge- but will anyone get in his way? We are also introduced to more characters such as Signor Pirelli and are left to wonder of his role in the film and whether he’ll be one of those who get in the way of Todd’s path of vengeance. We then see that in order to get revenge Sweeney uses a pedal to hit, which sends his victims down into the cellar- but why? And what does he do with them after that? (This is one of the biggest questions about the film left untold…) And then we see that the characters of Lovett and Todd may come under some conflict or disagreements due to Sweeney’s thirst for revenge and we wonder what this conflict will lead to- will Lovett really help him? Or will she have a change of heart? From the trailer it is quite clear that Sweeney becomes obsessed by revenge so much he can think of little else- even the motives he had for getting his revenge- the love for his daughter and wife- but the audience is left very unclear of how it’ll all end and whether Todd will eventually get his vengeance. But one things for sure: It’s not going to have a happy ending….

USP…

Well there’s quite a few within this trailer- firstly there’s the mention of Tim Burton as the director. No need for introduction as he is probably one of the most well-known and much-loved directors in the film industry- especially for his strange and often grotesque style. For example, people who have seen and loved films he has directed such as ‘Edward Scissorhands’, ‘Sleepy Hollow’ and more recently, ‘Alice in Wonderland’ will recognize his name and know they’ll probably like this film as it is most likely to have his unique and strangely beautiful style. There is also the big USP of Johnny Depp. Really no introductions needed here (although they do it anyway in the trailer in the form of a title) one of Hollywood’s most famous and loved film stars, he has starred in ‘Edward Scissorhands’, ‘Public Enemies’, ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ and the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ films and is well-known for working with director Tim Burton (who he has done in at least six films) I think anyone who is inclined to see the film because Tim Burton is director will be as pleased to know that Johnny Depp is playing the role. And as Depp is a big star, as I said before, it is obvious his name alone in the trailer will get audiences wanting to see the film itself. Helena Bonham Carter is also a big USP (though her name is not mentioned) as she also regularly features in Burton’s films (being his wife it is quite obvious she will be) and audiences may be inclined to see it if they enjoyed other films she featured in such as Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ or even the ‘Harry Potter’ series. Finally, what also may be a USP is the fact this film is based on an old tale and is remake of this classic story of the demon barber of fleet street. So therefore, as it is iconic and well-known, anyone who likes the original tale, stage productions, old films depicting it may be inclined to see the film to see how they interpret it.

Target Audience…

I think the good thing about this trailer, and well, the film overall is that it can appeal to men and women equally. For example, the male protagonist can connect with audience members of the same gender and whom have children/wives of their own and would therefore perhaps understand his actions/how he is feeling. I also think the trailer targets women as well as this (perhaps at the ame age or point in life) as female characters seem to be play an important and vital part in the film- they are the reasons for the male characters disputes and the objects of their dreams/desires so are equally as important as the male characters. When speaking of age I’d say the film definitely looks like it will not be for a younger audience (not below 15) because it deals with upsetting themes such as murder, revenge and injustice. A lot of bloodshed and violence is also insinuated which I don’t think would be the best thing for a child-friendly film. So therefore I think the appropriate age is 18+ (because of indicated dark themes and narrative) and ideally audience members would be 30-40 years of age and any gender as they can connect better with the characters and the trials/problems they are put through int he film itself.  

Music…

Being a trailer that promotes an actual musical film, the music was of course, great for building tension and atmosphere-

To begin with the trailer opened with music that was quiet and mysterious- this indicates that something bad has already happened or WILL happen very soon, leading the audience tense in the wonder of what it may be. The mysterious feel of the music also indicates that the film will be a thriller as one big and well known convention of the thriller genre is the fact that they are often very mysterious in nature. But at the same time you could argue that the music appears sad/traumatic- which indicates that something horrible is happening to the protagonist and we want to see what the actual disruption will be. This also reinforces that what we are seeing is a flashback- like we know that something bad is about to happen because, in the film, it is just a memory and has already occured.As the tension builds because of the disruption about to occur this makes the music get louder- fitting the atmosphere and fear of the characters as they are torn apart by the initial disruption. An interesting and good technique I thought was getting the music to cease abruptly, which indicates the immense change happening because of this disruption- the change in pace, time of the film (about to go into ‘present day’) and most importantly, character. It also builds on audience’s tension of what is going to happen next- what will outcome of the disruption be??

As we go into the present day and move forward in time, the music alters also- it gets faster now to raise tension and show the narrative is quickly moving along, and church bells signify perhaps death and tragedy. The music leads us to wonder how much time has passed and what happened to the characters in this space of time etc… And as our protagonist reveals himself as Sweeney Todd and ‘Not Barker’ – the music gets even louder- building more tension and making the audience wonder just how much this character has changed and how it’ll affect the narrative. As Sweeney inquires to where his wife and child are the music much faster and louder still-building tension as to what really happened to them and what he will do…Will he seek revenge?Again, the music abruptly stops giving an impact, as the audience are tense in the wonder of where it’ll lead. This also allows important information about the narrative/protagonist to be conveyed through song without any interruptions through over-bearing music. Although, having said that, there is music in the background as Sweeney sings- which is more angry and loud (but without taking over his voice)- which portrays that what was first sorrow has now morphed into rage- showing that Sweeney wants revenge and that his character has indeed changed.

Well naturally as the first montage of shots occurs this makes the music get louder and faster in order to keep up with the speed of the action, as a lot of things seems to be happening all in a short space of time. But again, the music is abruptly stopped as Sweeney throws a hat down a chute to follow its owner (which we can presume was one of his victims) and this builds tension as to where all of Sweeney’s killings are going to leave him and the narrative to some extent…

When music begins once again (at the second montage), it is a lot louder than before- and with the presence of a constant ominously ringing church bell this makes the music appear traumatic and sorrowful, which can show Sweeney’s original motives for his revenge (the love for Lucy and Johanna and his remorse at being parted from them so cruelly). But it leaves the audience to wonder if he will  lose sight of what was once so important to him and be blinded by this hatred for the Judge. As if to convey this, towards the end of this second montage the music gets deeper and somewhat darker, and a lot more tension building- turning something that was once traumatic and sad into something dark and violent- indicating what will literal happen to our protagonist- he was totally distraught to begin with, but his sadness has now evolved into pure hate and anger.

Camera work…

Overall I thought the camera work featured in the trailer helped convey a lot aspects of the film- especially the genre of thriller…

Firstly we have an Over the shoulder shot/ Close up of Barker’s wife, Lucy. This way we can see she is looking at Barker and smiling, indicating that this is the equilibrium as well as the fact these two characters have a strong and close relationship. The equilibrium is also established by a three shot of the family- Benjamin, Lucy and Johanna, as they walk through a market place. The three shot shows their happiness is due to the fact that they all together and indicates the character’s close bond.

A mid /establishing shot then introduces the character of Mrs Lovett in the audience- as she appears to be explaining something, and the colour of the shot has faded and grown darker this insinuates that the equilibrium the audience is seeing is in the past and is being told by this character- so what is so important about this memory? What happened tot he family? And how does this new character know what happened- who is she?

To emphasize the disruption of Benjamin Barker being taken away from his family (and therefore his family os torn apart) we get a reaction shot from Lucy- she looks scared/shocked as the policemen drag her husband away…this also makes her seem vulnerable and makes the audience wonder what she will do without her husband there to look after her and Johanna- will she be able to cope? It also reinforces her role in the film as a victim.

To emphasize the villain who is disrupting the peaceful equilibrium of the film, we then have a low angle shot looking up at Judge Turpin as he sentences someone in a court. This shows that he has an immense amount of power, especially over our protagonist, and this makes us feel sympathy for our protagonist as he is helpless and can do nothing to stop this powerful villain.

Making the audience feel even more sympathetic for the characters and tense about what is going to happen, there is another close up/reaction shot of Lucy- showing her fear and indicating her vulnerability without Barker. There is then a reaction/ mid shot of Benjamin Barker himself as he is dragged away by two policemen- he looks shocked and confused- indicating his innocence and the fact he has been sent away ona false charge. We want to know how he will properly react to this disruption and how the equilibrium may be restored..

Some kind of frozen screen technique is used to freeze the action of the shot, which signifies the importance of the disruption and indicates that it will affect the narrative/plot of the film a lot. It also reinforces that due to this disruption, Benjamin Barker’s character changes- but we are not sure who or what he turns into yet- it is just apparent that his character changes. This also suggests how the flashback is ending and we are about to be introduced to the ‘present day’ of the film- leaving the audience to wonder where the characters went from there and how will things have changed?

We are quickly introduced to Barker again with an establishing/mid shot which shows the audience that time has passed and that his character has visually changed, reinforcing his actual character may have altered to- but what will this lead to? A POV shot from the protagonist looking over London while on a ship (coined with his dialogue) insinuates he has come back home- but what will he be greeted with? This raises tension and the connection with protagonist in the sense that the audience does not know what to expect, and neither does he…

Backing up the idea that Barker is a changed character (also shown by the fact he has changed his name to ‘Sweeney Todd’), we see a Low angle shot of him looking down on something- which suggests that perhaps he now has power? Or has changed into a stronger character? But it leaves the audience asking how this has happened and what he will do with this power if he has indeed gained it…for example, will he use it for good, or evil?

Conveying that the film will be a thriller, we see many extreme close ups throughout the trailer- a few of them being as follows- an extreme close up of a neglected doll (interestingly like the one in ‘The Green Mile’) which portrays the innocence and vulnerability of the wife and child Todd was forced to leave behind in the hands of a brutal villain. The fact it is neglected also portrays how a lot of time has passed and that the victims have been treated terribly while Todd has been away- but in what way? And where are they now? Will Todd get them back at last? There is another extreme close up of the razors Todd has- indicating bloodshed and violence- but if Todd is going to use them, who is he going to kill? And what motives does he have/will he get away with it? etc etc

As well as this there are many two shots of Sweeney Todd and Mrs Lovett as Todd swears vengeance on the Judge who disrupted his peace and happiness in the first place. This indicates that Mrs Lovett may be a helper and that she might assist him in getting his revenge- and in what way? It also shows they may have a close relationship- but will this bond change throughout the course of the film? And how?

There is then a flashback which includes a high angle/POV shot in which we look down on Lucy from the eyes of the character of Judge Turpin- this makes Lucy seem powerless and  vulnerable in the hands of the villain and also suggests to the audience that he did something horrible to her when Todd was sent away- but what exactly? And how has it affected her/the plot of the film? After this flashback there are many close-ups of  Sweeney Todd- he is seen brooding, and seeming to be full of hate. This shows the audience that he is reacting to being told what has happened to Lucy/Johanna in a bad way and this suggests his obsession with getting vengeance on the Judge beginning to grow.

As we wonder just how and what methods Sweeney will use to get his revenge, a POV shot is used as a character walks into Sweeney’s barber shop. He appears to be sweeping the chair and then looks up to the character (whomever it may be), as if greeting them. This makes us tense and also leads the audience to think that Sweeney will use his barber’s skills in some way to help carry out his revenge on the Judge. But how?

A tracking shot then follows Sweeney as he sings about getting revenge and stopping for no-one this makes the dialogue/song seem important and therefore makes the audience focus their attention upon it. The fact he is moving in and out of a big crowd of people also shows about how he feels about the public- that he is remorseless and does not care who he has to kill to get to the Judge, which can make the audience tense as the protagonist seems to be getting more and more bloodthirsty- will he do something he may later regret??

After a mid/establishing shot of a new character (Signor Pirelli, though he isn’t formally introduced) this leads us to wonder who he is and what relationship he may have with the other characters, especially our main character, Sweeney Todd. This is also posed by a two shot of these characters, Pirelli looking warm and happy, Todd looking about the exact opposite- so we know they meet at some point in the film, but how? And what relationship will they have?? How will Pirelli affect Sweeney’s thirst for revenge??

Tying into the thriller genre again, there is an extreme close up of Sweeney’s eyes- he looks tense and upset- and this makes us wonder why he is feeling this way makes us want to see the film so it is revealed what he is reacting to. His eyes quikcly flash downwards, as if he is quickly glancing at something important, or is under pressure to do something- further making us want to see what the situation is and what it may lead to…And this reoccurs again, as we see Sweeney’s eyes looking into somewhere, through a grate of some kind, but we can’t see what he is looking into and therefore do not know what relevance it has. It also suggests mystery in the film and makes the audience want to see what is actually going on (confuses them)…Another extreme close up is also used as Todd steps down on the pedal of his barber’s chair- to make one of his victims disappear down into the cellar- and this heightens tension as to what he is doing and what repercussions it may have…

There is then an interesting POV/(extreme) low angle/reaction shot from inside a box- We look up from the box itself as Mrs Lovett opens it and looks shocked at what is inside- this makes the audience tense as they want to know who or what is inside the box, how it got there and why Mrs Lovett is reacting in this way. 

There is then a close up/low angle/POV shot from another character as Sweeney speaks to them with his razor in his outstretched hand- this insinuates that perhaps Sweeney takes his revenge onto dangerous grounds? And if he does, how does this affect the film itself?? The use of low angle also makes Sweeney appear threatening, reversing the previous vulnerable and sympathetic representation we had of him and reinforcing the fact his character has changed dramatically…

Various two shots of Sweeney and Lovett dancing could establish perhaps a romantic relationship between them brews throughout the film but will this change due to Sweeney’s path of vengeance? And do the characters really share a mutual feeling of love??

And yet another extreme close up is used as Sweeney stares at some old photos of his family- this reinforces the fact that the film is largely based around Todd’s past and those things he cannot ever forget- this nicely combines with the title of ‘Never forget’ which shows that Sweeney is both obsessed and tormented by his past and insinuates it may destroy him.

A two shot shows Sweeney and Lovett standing closely together, insinuating the characters share a close and strong relationship, but the two characters are looking in different directions, which can refer to how their relationship may not be as close as it appears. Then an extreme close up shows Sweeney going for the razor in his pocket- heightening tension and making us wonder who or what he has seen to make him want to go straight for his weapon.

A one of the shots I love the most has to be the POV/ extreme close up from inside a box- it shows a character hiding and watching from the box as Sweeney walks towards it. And allt eha udience can see is this bloody hand which is gripping his silver razor. This leads the audience to all kinds of questions- what has Sweeney done? Why is there so much blood and more importantly- who is in the box and what will Sweeney do to them?

I also love the over the shoulder/close up shot of Sweeney as he says to another character ‘how about a shave?’ as we can clearly see it in his eyes and facial expressions he has reached the realms of insanity and it reinforces the troubled protagonist’s mind and how his character has changed due to it. It also interesting that we don’t see what character Todd is speaking to as we can be pretty certain that whomever they are, they are about to meet their maker… A POV/Low angle shot- from the POV of a victim we can presume- is very affective as Sweeney is seen apparently attacking them- which most probably involves slicing their throat makes the audience feels very vulnerable and that Sweeney’s character may turn into something darker and more brutal than they ever imagined- and therefore they want to see whether this is true and if he ever can get back to the man he used to be

Towards the end of a trailer there is also another slightly low angle shot of Sweeney as he smiles at his new-found weapon- his razors. This suggests to the audience he is now getting ready to seek revenge, now that he has the tools of doing so- but will he be able to get it in the end? Will he want vengeance in then end? Only watching the film itself will tell…As Lovett talks about the problem of what she and Sweeney will do with ‘him’ there is  a slow zoom into a trunk with a ghastly hand sticking out of it- this makes the audience wonder who is in the box, how he got there and furthermore, the answer to Lovett’s question (which is the next step of Sweeney’s revenge that we aren’t actually introduced to…). Overall it helps makes the audience tense as the trailer is mysterious and isn’t giving them details on identity- so they have to watch the film itself if they want questions to be answered.

There is then what I think is usually refered to as a ‘crash zoom’ out of Lovett’s pie shop/Sweeney’s barbers as the trailer ends, perhaps visually showing that the trailer has ended and the audience is leaving the character/narrative- making them feel like there is more to see but if they want to see more they’ll have to go and watch the film itself. 

Pace…

I thought the pace was extremely mixed…and not very structured as such….

For example, the pace was very slow to begin with, and this helped establish main characters/ important narrative points/ the main themes of the film etc. It portrays that this the audience is seeing the equilibrium of the film and is till rather slow as the disruption is established also. This makes information about the film itself easier for the audience to understand (get the basics of anyway) and also builds tension.

But as we see Sweeney Todd return to his home, after the disruption has been disrupted, the pace gets a little faster- which conveys narrative moving along as well as tension as to what happened to Todd and his family and what he’ll do on his return…And the pace gets even faster as the audience comes to terms with the fact the protagonist is a changed man. And even more so as we, and Todd, hear of what happened to Lucy/Johanna and this builds tension as to how Sweeney will react to this/what he’ll do to get his revenge…

As Sweeney starts to sing in the streets, the pace gets a bit slower- this is because Sweeney is revealing important information and the audience need to put their attention upon it so that they do not get confused about what is going on. Also, it is here that we here that he will stop for no one to get vengeance- and a slow pace makes this scene very tense- does he mean it?

All of a sudden the pace gets much much faster as the montage of shots comes along- overall this makes the audience tense and ask a whole array of questions- like will he get his revenge? Are character’s relationships changing? And if so how, and how will it affect the plot? What relevance do the new characters have? Who is going to die?? etc etc

But again, the pace slows down as Lovett calls Todd ‘barking mad’ and Sweeney admits he’s changed man- but why is he admitting this and to whom? Will he be able to get back to who he used to be? Overall the slow pace shows that it is a very important piece of the film which is vital for atmosphere as well as narrative- the fact that Sweeney is no longer the man he used to be and this affects the outcome of the film a great deal…

And as the second montage comes along, it is, at first, very slow and has a tragic and dramatic atmosphere, making us feel as tought he film itself will be upsetting. This then builds up to fear and tension as the pace gets much faster and this makes the audience wonder what will happen to the characters- most importantly will Sweeney get his revenge?

Dialogue…

Overall I thought the dialogue displayed in this trailer was very effective, although I could argue that there may be a bit too much of it (maybe giving too much about the plot of the film away)…

The first piece of dialogue is from the character of Mrs Lovett, explaining:‘Barker his name was, Benjamin Barker…’ – this gives the audience the idea that Mrs Lovett is a clever character and knows/remembers fully well about the protagonist’s past because she appears to be recalling it to another character (or maybe even the audience…)

We then hear Judge Turpin: ‘May the lord have mercy on your soul’– This reinforces the fact that he is the man of power (because he is a judge sentencing a criminal in court) that ruined our protagonist’s life. The fact he is saying this seems ironic- as supposedly our protagonist did nothing wrong and was innocent all along.

Finally, we then hear our protagonist, Sweeney Todd speak as we come to the present day: ’15 years dreaming I might come home to a wife and child..‘ -This makes the audience feel sympathetic for him and also makes the audience want to watch on- they wonder what has happened in the 15 years he has been away and more specifically where his wife and daughter are. The fact he doesn’t know and neither do the audience also makes them feel more connected with him, and therefore makes them more likely to go on to watch the film if this connection/sympathy grows in the trailer.

Mrs Lovett:(shocked) ‘Benjamin Barker!’– This makes the audience tense as she sounds shocked and scared, it makes us ask how will she react to his return and what kind of relationship the pair will have- does she have information on his family for example? 

There is then a lot of atmospheric and vital dialogue exchanged between Sweeney Todd and Mrs Lovett as he says to her (in reaction to her saying his original name): ‘Not Barker. It’s Sweeney Todd now, and he will have his revenge’– This insinuates that the horrific ordeal Todd has been put through has killed the man he used to be and replaced him with a man driven by revenge and revenge only. It makes the audience feels  a little sympathetic with him, as he has even lost his identity due to the horrible things that happened to him. But he wants revenge- and this makes the audience gain interest in the trailer as they’ll want to know whether he will get his revenge and how he plans on doing it.

He then asks:‘Where’s my wife?’– Which makes the audience again, feel sympathetic towards him, as he has finally come home only to find his wife and daughter are gone and he doesn’t know what happened to them. And neither do we, so the audience therefore builds on this connection with the protagonist.

Mrs Lovett then reveals to him the truth of what has happened to his family: ‘She’s gone…and he’s got your daughter’– Some big questions raised here- firstly is this the truth? And if it is, the lines here are sneakily very un-specific and go into no details whatsoever. She just says that Todd’s wife is ‘gone‘- but why? And what happened to her/who’s doing was it? And who is this ‘someone’ that has Todd’s daughter? Overall it makes the audience tense and focused- hoping to watch on and see if some of these questions are answered.

Sweeney Todd:‘Judge Turpin…’– This reveals the identity of the main villain of the film. And it also answers the question of who has Todd’s daughter- but what does he want with her? And furthermore, now that Todd is back and finds that his only daughter is being held captive by his biggest enemy, how is he going to get his revenge? Will he get his daughter back in the end?

Mrs Lovett: ‘You’ve gotta leave this all behind you now..’-This poses Mrs Lovett as a peaceful and quite calm character- that she feels revenge is not the best option and is a helper of the film- she advises Todd to forget about it all and move on…but of course, Todd is not going to take that idea into account…

Sweeney Todd: ‘No!’…’These are desperate times, desperate measures are called for…’– This gains audience interest as it is the first portrayal of these two characters coming into disagreements- insinuating what seems like a good relationship to start off with may turn dark and change because of the revenge Todd is so bloodthirsty for. But will their relationship go back to the way it was? Also here, Todd implies he is going to take the revenge further than just getting his daughter back/confronting the Judge. No, he is going to take it much further- but why? And how will he do it without being caught?

We then have a snippet of Sweeney singing:

‘Alright! You sir? No one’s in the chair, c’mon c’mon, Sweeney’s waiting…I want you bleeders. You sir, too sir, welcome to the grave..I will have vengeance….I will have salvation…..’-Here it is portrayed that he is absolutely driven by revenge and will use his barber skills to get it. He also insinuates that he doesn’t care who or how many people he kills in the meantime as he will, eventually get his revenge- no one cans stop him. His eagerness for blood may also insinuate to the audience that he has been driven crazy by his thirst for vengeance- and if this is so, will he end up loosing sight of what he really wants/what really matters to him?

‘I can guarantee you, the closest shave you will ever know…’– Said by Todd again, this sounds extremely threatening considering what we have just learnt about how Todd will get his revenge- because the audience now knows what he really means by this is that he will not give the character a good shave- he will kill him. And this puts the audience in a sense of understanding and makes them feel more connected with the protagonist as it is like we know exactly what he is thinking.

Signor Pirelli: ‘May the Good lord smile on you..’– Well I’m not quite sure what relevance this has. I think to be perfectly honest it’s rather ironic and Sweeney is not concerned in the least about God or smiles- he is wallowing in a deep deep pit of darkness where the only thing that keeps him going is revenge. So surely this character is unaware of who he is and why he has come back to his old home…also why is this new character saying this to him? Does he mean it?

Mrs Lovett: ‘You’re barking mad!’– Again, implication here that perhaps Mrs Lovett and Sweeney Todd do not agree with how he will get his revenge, perhaps who he kills in the process etc. So what exactly is she reacting to and why is she reacting to it in this way? It also indicates that, as I said, Sweeney may be driven insane by what he can’t forget or ever forgive. I’d also like to add that I like how Lovett calls him ‘barking’ mad as it reminds me personally of his original name (Benjamin Barker) and perhaps how that man really is dead and gone forever to be replaced by a madman who will not stop for anybody in his path of vengeance.

Sweeney Todd: ‘The years no doubt have changed me’– Again, indicates to the audience that Todd is a very changed man. So how will this effect the plot? Will he do something terrible? And more importantly- where will all this lead? 

‘How about a shave?’– How this is said I personally this is intended for humour- well I find it very funny anyway. It just seems as though Sweeney has been through so much that he has reached the end of his tether- that he knows what’s coming as well as we do- building up this immense connection the audience has with the protagonist as it is like we know exactly how he is feeling

‘At last! My arm is complete again!’– This insinuates that the most important thing to Todd is to get his revenge on those who did him so much wrong. So by indicating that he feels complete with his razor back in his hand suggests not only that this is his intended weapon for getting revenge, but that revenge is the only thing that can give him a purpose for his own survival.

Lastly, the dialogue nad trailer ends on quite a humorous note, which is when Mrs Lovett answers Todd by saying: ‘That’s all very well, but what are we gonna do about him?’– And indicates to a trunk which has a hand sticking out. She doesn’t seem very scared, she seems rather pleasant, so why is she reacting in this way and furthermore… who is in the box (we know it’s a man at least- ‘him’) why is he in there (did Todd kill him and if he did, why?) and what are the pair going to do with him? 

Voice over…

I have to say this has got to be my least favourite part of the trailer. Though I suppose it is an easy way for the trailer to get the basic message of what happened to Sweeney Todd across…

‘This the tale of an ordinary man…..who had everything…’– So this connects with audience (because he is ordinary and not particularly special or high in his status/power) and this also shows us that this is the equilibrium of the film- the protagonist is happy and has everything he could ever dream of ( a wife and child). But this raises tension- will this be taken away from him? Will something disrupt this peace and happiness? What?

‘Until a man of power stole his freedom, destroyed his family, and banished him for life…’– This shows the initial and main disruption of the equilibrium. And by keeping identity of the ‘man of power’ a secret this makes the film seems more mysterious and the audience want to know who he is and why he treated the protagonist in this unjustifiably brutal way. They’ll also want to know how characters reacted to this disruption and how they may try and restore the equilibrium.

‘And in his sorrow….A new man was born…’– This indicates the main fact that the protagonist we are introduced to at the start is the not the protagonist we follow in the film. He is a changed man- but how has he changed? And how will this effect the plot of the film?

Special Effects…

As far as I can tell, the special effects in the trailer aren’t all that obvious… I mean, it’s clear there are special effects involved with the location of the film, which is Victorian London. The place looks authentic and like it really has been filmed all those years ago, so it is natural to presume special effects have been sued there somewhere. Also, I’m not sure if you regard this as special effects of simply editing techniques, but I love the way that flashbacks are seen in beautiful and vibrant colours, yet when we got into the present day it is dark, dreary, and seeming to be stripped completely of it’s colour…which is strange because the usual convention is to have these colour codes the other way around. It can also cleverly portray how the protagonist’s life used to be so happy and full of colour but is not dark and full of hate. Perhaps some special effects are also used when we see snippets of Sweeney carrying out his murders, like the bodies falling down the chute to the cellar, but I think overall it is insinuated to the audience that special effects will be sued in the film mainly for two things: the location of the film, and the killings.

Credits and Intertitles…

Overall I thought the titles were very effective- there were plenty of them, their style added to the atmosphere of the trailer and portrayed what type of film it was promoting, they revealed USPs, narrative points etc etc…

‘From Director Tim Burton’– Well the bold silver writing reflects Sweeney’s iconic silver razors that he sues to carry out his vengeance- revealing the director (especially since it is Tim Burton) also gives the audience a USP to consider, which may persuade them to watch the film and gain their interest.

‘Johnny Depp’– In the same style, but this time on a black background so it stands out a bit more- literally cutting the dark background like one of Sweeney’s razors, this again, gives the audience a big USP to capture their attention and make them want to see the film (as I said before…if a trailer reveals the lead of the film will be played by Johnny Depp, you’re already granted pretty much most of the population wanting to go and see it…)

‘Never Forget’….‘Never Forgive’– I loved these titles as they really stick in your mind through the use of repetition (using the word ‘never’ twice and two other words that begin with the same letter also) and it really portrays the film’s mood- that Sweeney is driven insane by his obsession for revenge because he cannot forget what happened to him and he can never forgive it either.

‘This Christmas’…’Sweeney is Coming’– Taunting the audience a little, and hyping them up a lot- the titles (somewhat ironically if you look at the film and then holiday it was released near) hint to when the film can be expected to be in cinemas and then make the protagonist and story seem all the more real and threatening- like he is an actual person. Overall making the audience more and tense and excited to see the film.

‘Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’– And finally, the (rather long) title of the film is revealed at the end of the trailer (but a little snippet of film/dialogue is left afterwards, which I think is quite affective/popular in trailers) and visually I think it is beautiful- it is silver, but bolder with an outline of black to show the importance of the title. And the blood splatter in the shape of a broken red heart in the background connotes a lot of themes and aspects of the film, such as bloodshed, violence and heart-break. Mostly though I think it shows how a broken heart can usually develop into anger and then violence/bloodshed itself.

 

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