I am unapologetic in the fact that I hate musicals. I’m not just saying that to appear “manly”; I really, really do.
But I was willing to give this example a chance because I’m a fan of much of Tim Burton’s work and I thought that if anyone could pull it off, it would be him. His trademark Gothic imagery is as excellent as always, and Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter are pretty damn good, surrounded by some great production design and lovely costumes. As long as they are not singing. The fact is that I was willing to give it a chance thinking I could grit my teeth through the musical numbers in order to enjoy the rest of the film. But there is no “rest of the film”. It’s like a camp pantomime cum bohemian opera in which the dialogue in its entirety is sung in cod poetry. I sat through it to enjoy Burton’s visuals but only by viewing it on fast forward; if I’d gone to the cinema to see it I wouldn’t have lasted 15 minutes.
Don’t believe the hype; if – like me – you genuinely do not like musicals you will find this film unwatchable.