Across the Universe

January 31, 2008
By
It was the age of “Revolution.” The age where the boys said, “I Want to Hold your Hand,” and the girls swoon, “Hold Me Tight.” The age where people thought “All you Need is Love.” The age where “Something” was always happening, even if that happening something happened to be “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” It was the age with The Beatles and all their mania; it was the 60s and finally, that age has been transformed into Across the Universe, one of the best musicals of the 21st century.

It was the opening scene that realed the auidences in, like fish entraced by a shinny louer. The film opens with a shot of its lead, Jude played by British actor Jim Sturgess singing a song about a girl that he met and fell in love with, while he sits crossed-legged on a cold looking beach along what is supposed to be the British coast line. The scene is very much so a James Blunt “You’re Beautiful” moment, but one can’t help but be captivated as the camera zooms in on the gorgeous pale brown eyes of Sturgess.

The beginning of the movie is slightly on the confusing side. The main reason for the confusion is that the plot jumps from character to main character, providing brief backgrounds for the three main leads and the few supporting leads. Within a half hour though all the fog is cleared away and one can clearly piece together what is going.

Across the Universe follows Jude, a British bloke, who desperate to leave his dreary life in Liverpool, England takes a job on a ship bound for America. Once in America, Jude hitch hikes his way to Princeton University in search of his father.

While this is happening Lucy, Evan Rachel Wood, a high senior—a blonde chirpy character, the archetype of the 50s poodle skirt girl, ponytail and all—is head over heals in love with her boyfriend, Dan who is being shipped of to Vietnam. Dan’s department to war worries Lucy, leaves her feeling lonely, yet, she preserves knowing that Dan is fighting for American pride.

The two opposites cross each others paths through Lucy’s older brother Max, a college student attending Princeton University. Max brings Jude home with him for Thanksgiving, like the guy’s some sort of stray dog. At the holiday dinner, a family fights erupts, Max leaves for New York, with Jude tagging along for the ride.

Once in New York the two straggly haired boys turn hippie, move into Sadie’s, the songstress, apartment—home to the wandering misfits of the world.

Add in a few extra, yet intriguing, characters, and a few months to the movies timeline, and the movie really begins to pick up speed. Lucy, move to New York, where she finds her place with Jude and fighting for peace in Vietnam, which only becomes ironic after her brother, Max, is recruited.

Throughout the tripods’ journey they are exposed to all the aspects that made the sixties great—love, sex, drugs, protests, no responsibilities, a colorful bus, a great trip, psychedelic colors, rebellious music, and Bono singing “I am the walrus, you are the walrus, coo-coo-cu-khoo.”

Across the Universe sucks the watchers into the movie, giving a story and life to the already flamboyant Beatles songs and surrounds the characters in a time where the youth was unsure about their future, where they wanted to rebel and be different. So, the colors were enhanced, weird and obscure occurrences happened to the three. One such weird occurrence was the bus trip that leads them to Mr. Kite and the blue people.

However, more importantly than representing a decade, a generation, and a war, Across the Universe shows the audience how people’s lives are intertwined and looped. For example, Prudence, played by T.V. Carpio, first crosses paths with the tripod in New York, when she crawls through the bathroom window, then again when she out of Mr. Kite’s tent, and finally when she appears for a rooftop concert.

While, there are a lot of loose ends in the film, a lot of random events and people, and even more unexplainable scenes, on a whole, the movie is entertaining. The swirling blues, reds, yellows, greens, and pinks suck the watcher into the film’s scope. The perfectly placed songs and differing voices of the actors keep the watcher singing along to the movie. The classic love-story ensures that, despite several wacky features, that the film is universally identifiable.

Is Across the Universe worth nearly $10? Yes, but be prepared to shell out $15 for the soundtrack, because the songs thump in one’s head, begging to be sung.





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