Across the Universe (2007)

Only proceed to read this review if you love Beatles music and can tolerate musicals. That being said, you might well like Across the Universe (if you can handle the hard-PG-13 rating, that is).

Across the Universe is set in the late 1960s; young British chap Jude (Jim Sturgess) travels to America and becomes good friends with Princeton drop-out Max (Joe Anderson), eventually becoming romantically attached to Max’s sunny and beautiful sister Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood). Jude eventually starts to question where his life is heading once Max gets drafted into the Vietnam conflict and Lucy begins to embody the anti-war activist prototype.

Although the idea of another anti-Vietnam-laced movie shouldn’t necessarily make one’s head spin, the fact is that the Beatles and the war did intertwine somewhat, and plus, a 60’s movie can’t be filled up with over-the-top psychedelic scenes alone. The film overcomes overall inexperienced acting with truly interesting plotlines that move along very well. But the real fun of the flick is the seeing how the Beatles’ songs fit into the story (or is it the other way around?), singing along and then guessing which one will come next. Highlights include “With a Little Help From My Friends” and its rowdy male-bonding, the sadness of death enunciated with “Let it Be” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” the sensuality found through a tender rendition of “If I Fell” and the communal unity with the harmony in the haunting “Because.” Also, this writer must admit that Salma Hayek as a war nurse combined with “Happiness is a Warm Gun” was proverbial icing on the cake.

But what is Across the Universe really trying to say? Nothing much more than the Beatles ever did, that all you need is love, really. Yesterday, Jude might have been a nowhere man, but now this boy is practically Mother Nature’s son after finding the inner light and giving all his loving to Lucy. Let’s just hope that they didn’t turn out to be day trippers like the rest of the hippies.

– Jake Kauffman


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One Response to “Across the Universe (2007)”

  1. Frank Says:

    Like the review Jake. I hope to see it soon. Hey, do you have another site where we can reach you?

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