Across The Universe

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Across The Universe
Review (8.5/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

Across The Universe is your basic love story about a Liverpool dock worker who travels to America to find his estranged father but ends up befriending a trouble-making college student, falling in love with a beautiful gal and moving to New York to live a somewhat hippie and somewhat nomadic lifestyle. The one difference between this movie and the hundreds of other Hollywood love stories floating around out there is that this one is told with the help of some of the finest Beatles songs we know and quite simply some of the greatest songs ever written, period.

Across The Universe stars the beautiful Evan Rachel Wood and a handful of other unfamiliar actors and actresses, including Jim Sturgess, Joe Anderson, Dana Fuchs, Martin Luther (is he related to The One?) and T.V. Carpio. There are appearances by other more recognizable faces, some more obvious than others, so you might want to pay attention. The movie is set in the 1960's when many people were carefree but the world was fraught with the perils of war, the stuggle for free speech and the endeavor for civil rights. It was a time when music was more important than in anytime in history.

I must say, I loved Across The Universe. I have to admit I had my reservations about this movie and was really not sure if the music would work despite being Beatles songs. Even looking back, the story was at times too simple and not all of the music worked. I wasn't crazy about some of that psychedelic Strawberry Fields stuff they had going on either. But what it comes down to is you get to sit in a theatre and listen to great music woven into a pretty solid movie and it makes for one hell of an enjoyable 133 minutes (according to IMDb -- I never timed it). Like I said, maybe not all of the music works (the "Revolution" bit didn't do it for me and that's one of my favourite Beatles songs) but 95% of it is good and out of that good, most of it is great. Songs like "Hey Jude" and "Let It Be" were simply fantastic. I found myself tapping my foot, singing along and smiling from ear to ear. I wonder what songs like Lennon's "Imagine" or "Give Peace A Chance" could have done for this movie...

Nevertheless, Across The Universe is sure to be a favourite for most Beatles fans and many movie fans in general. Likeable characters, amiable story and lovable music - what more do you need? I'm sure most moviegoers are going to feel like I did once the credits start rolling. I'm sure I could have watched the entire movie all over again from start to finish.


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