Saturday, August 6, 2011

Across the Universe (2007)

"All you need is love"

Who would have ever thought that some day we would have a musical based around the songs of The Beatles? Well, maybe a lot of people, I don't know. This movie kind of slipped under my radar, I didn't even know anything about it until it was about to come to video, but I was very intrigued to see it and I'm glad it was made.

I'm a Beatles fan, I admit and I've seen Paul McCartney in concert TWICE! But that aside the fact that a movie was made using the songs of The Beatles made this very interesting indeed. The movie plot is very basic, it doesn't really exist. Like so many other films about the 1960s this movie is just that, it's ABOUT the 1960s. I've heard from people who were upset that this movie didn't have a plot, well it wasn't a conventional plot. When you make a movie about the 1960s there's really no reason to have a plot simply because of all the stuff going on the 60s that was enough to make a movie about. But the overall "plot" (if you will) is a basic love story. A guy (cleverly named Jude) comes to America from England looking for his biological father. He finds him and then magically that story is over. He runs into Max a loner who goes to Yale (or Harvard I can't remember) but doesn't want that since it's what his parents want. Jude immediately falls for Lucy, Max's sister, who is fresh off her romance with her boyfriend who was killed in Vietnam. After that the story really focuses mainly on them and their on again off again relationship.

Some might be wondering how exactly they used the songs in the movie. Well, I think they intertwined them very well. Before Jude heads off to America he says goodbye to his girlfriend singing "All My Loving". When Max is introducing Jude to his friends he sings "With a Little Help From My Friends". A gospel choir sings "Let It Be" during Lucy's boyfriend's funeral. One song that was cleverly used was "Dear Prudence". The character of Prudence (who was gay) locks herself in a closet and her friends sing "Dear Prudence" to her to coax her out. Oddly though there was a character named Sadie yet the song "Sexy Sadie" was never used.

The one thing I didn't like about the movie was there was a character that looked like Jimi Hendrix and even wore the same clothes as him (against his own wishes) but it wasn't Hendrix. I just didn't get why exactly they decided to have a character that looked like him but not have it be him. I'm not sure if they were alluding to the fact that it COULD be him or not. Also, I'm not sure on this one but I think Sadie was supposed to be Janis Joplin, but I'm not 100% on that one.

Overall the movie is very entertaining and very much a film about the 60s. The movie is very psychedelic. The performances are fantastic and the movie ends incredibly well with a rendition of "All You Need is Love" and not a word spoken (other than the lyrics) a very good love story indeed!