Across The Universe

Across The Universe Across The Universe, a 2007 film directed by Julie Taymor, is a film that fans of The Beatles should have in their DVD library. The film features a stunning and mostly young cast, all of whom have great voices that pull off the songs incredibly well and even for those who aren't a fan of The Beatles, it's full of entertainment and humor.

The story takes place in the 1960's, around the time of the Vietnam War, which plays a part in the plot. It revolves around six people whose lives end up interacting in New York City. Additionally, each main character takes their name from a Beatles song. Jude (Jim Sturgess) is a young man from Liverpool who travels to America in hopes of finding his father. Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood) is the daughter of a privileged family while her brother Max (Joe Anderson) is a rebellious collage student who drops out of Princeton. Sadie (Dana Fuchs) is a Janis Joplin lookalike and a singer, as well as the landlady of the apartment where all the main characters live in at one point. To round out the cast is Martin Luther McCoy as Jojo, an African-American guitarist and T.V Carpio as Prudence, a bisexual cheerleader. Bono, Salma Hayek and Eddie Izzard all make cameo appearances.

The film follows these individuals and their relationships, all the while tying in Beatles songs. Out of the six main actors, I was most impressed with Joe Anderson's performance. This was one of his first major roles and he does a very good job, bringing a lot of comedy to his character. He also performs two of the best musical sections of the film, covering the songs Happiness is a Warm Gun and I Want You (She's So Heavy.) His voice has a certain rough quality to it that makes his performances seem more realistic.

The characters of Sadie and Jojo are based on Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, respectively, and both Fuchs and McCoy obviously channel these two legends, both in appearance and in their musical performances.

33 of The Beatle's songs are performed in the film, including With A Little Help from My Friends, Let It Be, Come Together, I Am The Walrus, Strawberry Fields Forever, Revolution and Hey Jude, as well as the track giving the film it's name.

One of my favorite things about this movie was how it reinvented the classic songs of The Beatles. I was a fan before viewing but I found it enjoyable how the songs stayed the same, yet the tone of them was completely changed. One of the best examples of this would be I Want to Hold Your Hand. The Beatles version is upbeat and a cute, peppy love song, while the version in the movie performed by T.V Carpio is slower and has more of a sad, longing tone behind it, appropriate for the situation it's being sung in.

One of my only complaints about the movie is that it seemed to be a little too long. Clocking in at nearly two and a half hours, some parts of the film seem to drag a little. At moments, it also feels like it is not really a film but a series of vignettes, each one having a song as a theme. However, the acting and singing was very well done and there were quite a few heart warming moments, particularly between Max and Jude. Even for those people who aren't huge fans of The Beatles but still enjoy a good musical, this film may very well become one of your favorites, if not an entertaining film to pull out once in awhile.

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