Iâ€™m rarely at a loss for words, rarely unable to detail my thoughts or express my views. Yet, this past weekend I found myself dumbfounded. I turned to my lady friend, disregarding the popcorn kernels wedged between my teeth and butter freshly splattered on my t-shirt depicting Lennon proudly embracing Gotham City, and asked, â€œWhat did you think?â€
â€œI absolutely loved it,â€ she said.
It was settled; if the tree-hugging Beatle fanatic Iâ€™d met a decade earlier enjoyed it, then so did I.
However, I was left utterly confused after watching â€œAcross the Universe,â€ a feeling I thought Iâ€™d left along with my ex-wife. In both instances I was unable to pinpoint precisely when the narrative turned from a sappy â€˜80s chick-flick into a tragicomedy. Though some will tell you, and I agree, a movie capable of tugging at your emotions is a movie worth watching. On the surface Julie Taymorâ€™s movie is about Jude (Jim Sturgess), a Liverpool dockworker, traveling to America in search of his estranged father. In the process, Jude falls for Max Carriganâ€™s (Joe Anderson) sister Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood) after befriending Carrigan while helping him escape from mischief on Princetonâ€™s campus, Carriganâ€™s alma mater.
Jude and Lucy become an item, endure hardships and prevail. Max is sent to Vietnam, and he and the rest of the cast triumphantly overcome lifeâ€™s adversities.
Though on the surface the movie is another in the long line of the horribly unimaginative, thought reducing and mundane, the filmâ€™s subtext and visual effects carry it to another level. Even more important, the movie is based entirely off of Beatlesâ€™ tunes, making it an instant cult classic.
Artfully chronicled throughout the film is the turmoil of the Baby Boomer generation, taking the viewer on a journey through a time more tumultuous than the current climate.
The most vividly creative, though blunt and politically motivated scene depicted a group of soldiers marching through a miniature version of Vietnam, bearing the Statue of Liberty as Jesus had with the cross before his crucifixion.
In addition to the underlying political and social ideologies, the filmâ€™s visual effects were reminiscent of the eraâ€™s psychedelic rock videos giving the viewer a more in-depth analysis into the psyche of rock â€˜nâ€™ rollâ€™s most influential band.
And the music wasnâ€™t bad either.
The movie musical was comprised entirely of Beatles covers. Every character in the film was derived from one of the Fab Fourâ€™s hits such as Jude â€œHey Jude,â€ and Lucy â€œLucy in the Sky with Diamonds.â€ The most memorable cover however was Prudenceâ€™s (T.V. Carpio) rendition of â€œI Want to Hold Your Hand.â€ Her hauntingly beautiful voice sent chills down my spine as she sat isolated in football bleachers wallowing in a love thatâ€™ll never be â€“ itâ€™s with another woman.
This movie will never take home best picture, but itâ€™s fun. Itâ€™s one of those rare films that you can watch more than once, and each time youâ€™re destined to discover something new. The film touches you emotionally and presents you with a perspective into our countryâ€™s era of change.
â€œAcross the Universeâ€ is rated PG-13.