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Across The Universe
Review written on: September 18th, 2007

Across The Universe Review

This movie is based entirely around the music (and to a very small degree, the history) of The Beatles in the late 1960s. That is one point that I would like to get across right away. I admit that I’m not a huge fan of The Beatles’ material around that time. I do like some of the songs, but in general, I prefer their earlier, fluffier music. However, when I saw this film, it completely blew me away. All of you die-hard Beatles fans get ready for something great!

Jude (Jim Sturgess) is a working-class guy from Liverpool who simply goes about his life like anyone else in the same situation. Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood) is a high school girl who goes steady with a boy and lives a normal life, as well. So, Jude decides to take off for the States to find the father he never knew and ends up at Princeton, where he meets Max (Joe Anderson), a student who’s focusing a bit more on recreation then studying. Jude finds his father, but the two don’t exactly become buddies. Jude and Max strike up a friendship and learn a bit about what life has to offer. Max ends up taking Jude home for Thanksgiving, where his sister is introduced, the aforementioned Lucy. Lucy’s got the typical existence of a teenaged girl, but starts to learn about the harsh realities of life when her beau is sent off to Vietnam.

Afterwards, the whole group sets off to live in New York, where art and creativity stand strong. Again, anything that evokes memories of the ?60s comes up: drugs, politics, anti-war protests, etc., etc. The underscore of the love between Lucy and Jude ties everything very well.

In all, l felt as if I lived through the entire decade in those 2+ hours. It didn’t matter that I was born over 10 years later. It’s also good to know that it’s as if the story itself is created around the songs, not the other way around. Most of your attention will not be focused on the somewhat flat plot, but primarily on the surreal and psychedelic cinematography, and the amazing new vocal interpretations of well-known and beloved music. Three standout moments for me: The scene with Eddie Izzard with its Monty Python-esque vibe and animation; Bono delivers an almost-flawless American accent as an author and guru who takes the group on his bus across the country; Dana Fuchs’ raw and powerful rendition of ?Helter Skelter,? that simply resurrects the essence and energy of Janis Joplin.

One last thought? It’s just an exquisite union of color, sound, and movement. If you get the chance, take a trip to the theater to see this!

 

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