Set in America during the Vietnam War,Across the Universe
is a powerful love story set against a backdrop of political and social unrest: it's a story of soul-searching, self-doubt, and individual powerlessness cleverly conveyed through a multitude ofBeatles
songs. Like young adults all across America during the 1960's, Jude (Jim Sturgess), Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood), Max (Joe Anderson), Sadie (Dana Fuchs), Prudence (T.V. Carpio), and JoJo (Martin Luther) are in turmoil over the war; questioning their individual roles in the war effort and struggling to find a way to hold true to their beliefs while making a difference in the world. While love proves a powerful uniting force, its limitations become clear as relationships are strained and broken over individual perceptions of responsibility to cause and country. A fairly bizarre juxtaposition of extremely stylized, almost hallucinogenic scenes of swirling colors and reflections, highly choreographed dance segments, seemingly commonplace character interaction, and emotionally packed close-up footage of characters lost in contemplative song, this film imparts a good sense of the confusion and passion of the time and is at once powerful, invigorating, and disturbing. The film runs a bit long at 2-hours 11-minutes and several segments drag noticeably thanks to some incredibly slow song tempos. Warning: this production may change how you think about a favoriteBeatles
song forever.--Tami Horiuchi
Beyond Across the ...