Across the Universe (2007)

I think it was on someone's Thursday Movie Picks that I read about Across the Universe for the first time. I guess it sounded interesting to me, at least enough to add it to my watchlist. That probably happened more than a year ago so I completely forgot everything I knew about it and I went in knowing nothing other than it was a romantic film. I was a bit shocked at first when I learnt it was a musical because I wasn't really in the mood for a musical, but Across the Universe turned out to be such a nice, enjoyable film it didn't bother me at all.

Set in the 1960s, the film mainly focuses on Jude (Jim Sturgess), a young man from Liverpool who goes to Princeton to find his father. Once there, he befriends Max (Joe Anderson) and falls in love with Max's sister, Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood). The film also follows a small group of friends and musicians.

That's pretty much it with the plot if you dare calling it 'plot'. It is disjointed and contrived, it's not very easy to understand what's going on and it doesn't really go anywhere. Also, it deals with so much --the Vietnam war, drug use, sex and more-- it's impossible to tell what Across the Universe really is. A romantic comedy? A musical? A war movie? A music drama? Possibly all of them.

In spite of the messy plot and the clich├ęd but somehow satisfying romance between Jude and Lucy, the film still manages to be interesting and the credits go to the music. The reason why the plot is a disjointed mess is that it tries to encapsulate so many themes and storylines by singing the Beatles songs. That's why there's barely a connection between the events. The whole film is basically a huge homage to this amazing group and, though I'm not a die-hard Beatles fan, I absolutely loved it. It's a brilliant concept very well executed. 

Columbia Pictures
Which brings me to the best part of Across the Universe, the soundtrack. The Beatles songs are performed beautifully, both in terms of singing and staging/choreography. Many of the songs seem superfluous and don't add much to the story, but they are such a blast! Also, Bono has a cameo in this and he rocked it. 

And without the great music by The Beatles, the cast would have been pretty much screwed because the characters are pretty shallow and underdeveloped. Some characters don't even have a reason to exist another than being a song device.

In terms of visuals, Across the Universe has quite a lot to offer. The cinematography, though not spectacular, is rich and dazzling, the set designs are colourful and joyful, and the costumes are very beautiful.


Chick here for more musicals

8 comments :

  1. It did get good reviews at the time. Glad you like it. Where would you rank Axross the Universe in terms of your favourite Beatles songs?

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    1. I don't think I have favourite Beatles songs.

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  2. I'm glad you liked this too! I think it's lovely and I really liked all the covers they did.

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    1. I liked some of the covers better than the originals.

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  3. It's a messy film but I do like it as I'm a fan of the Beatles though some of the covers aren't great and I was very uncomfortable in seeing Joe Cocker looking like a pimp. It just didn't work. Still, I think it's a fun film as I hope to see Evan next month at a concert she's doing singing David Bowie songs with people from Bowie's band.

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    1. It was weird seeing Cocker like that but I really liked his cover of Come Together.

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  4. I was given this as a gift a few years ago and I was never in the mood to watch it until I finally decided to open the wrapping. I was pleased that i liked it even though I found the same issues you had with the film. It was a fun movie

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