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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    ‘Across the Universe’ rides The Beatles through the ’60s

    Across the Universe is a rock opera featuring songs by The Beatles. The film follows Jude (played by Jim Sturgess) as he travels to the United States in the 1960s to find his father.
    ‘Across the Universe’ is a rock opera featuring songs by The Beatles. The film follows Jude (played by Jim Sturgess) as he travels to the United States in the 1960s to find his father.

    “”Across the Universe”” has everything you would expect from an acid trip. The beautiful, warm-hearted romance scenes will have you floating on a cloud, while the abrupt and jarring Vietnam scenes will have you curled up in your seat waiting for it all to end. Throw in a bit of confusion while you watch Eddie Izzard fly around and Bono with a mustache and you have yourself a very intriguing and creative film. Oh yeah, and what acid trip is complete without the songs of The Beatles being played throughout?

    Directed by Julie Taymor (“”Frida,”” “”The Lion King”” on Broadway), “”Across the Universe”” follows Jude (Jim Sturgess) as he comes to America to find his father and inadvertently gets wrapped up in all the turmoil and passion of the 1960s. Falling in love with Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood), Jude, along with some friends, experiences all of the love, drugs and violence commonly associated with the decade.

    “”Across the Universe””
    PG-13 – 131 mins.
    Revolution Studios
    Starring Jim Strugess and Evan Rachel Wood
    4 stars!

    The majority of the dialogue in this film consists of the characters singing Beatles songs. Many of these alternative renditions must be met with an open mind. While a lot of the interpretations are creative deviations, some Beatles fans may be disappointed by the often slower and darker recreations. The song “”I Want You,”” generally thought to be a song of longing and passion, is twisted into a highly conceptual Vietnam War anthem.

    Another unique rendition is of the already ambiguous “”Come Together.”” This ballad is made all the more confusing when, for some reason, a pimp sings it. While Taymor’s visions of the songs are undoubtedly imaginative, they sometimes come off as self-indulgent.

    Taymor uses many subplots to explore every aspect of the ’60s. While this is effective in giving the audience a comprehensive view of the time period, the film sometimes feels a bit disjointed. For instance, one of the subplots involves Prudence (T.V. Carpio), a lesbian who pops up throughout the film, apparently falling in love with a new girl from each scene to the next. Prudence’s contribution to the film seems a bit contrived and really only seems to serve the purpose of conveniently including the song “”Dear Prudence.””

    Much like Taymor’s stage production of “”The Lion King,”” “”Across the Universe”” is full of puppets and creative visuals. Audience members will be in awe of the LSD-induced visions of giant puppets and psychedelic kaleidoscope backgrounds.

    While the film addresses tough subjects such as the Vietnam War and radical advocacy, Taymor leaves it up to the audience as to whether the radical protests were successful demonstrations of peace or a catalyst for more violence.

    “”Across the Universe”” is a must-see. While the subject matter sometimes feels like too much to cover in 131 minutes, Taymor’s creativity and deviation from traditional movie-making conventions is refreshing. Throw in The Beatles, and you have a classic.

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