A ‘magical mystery tour’ of the ’60s – review of “Across the Universe”


Source: impawards.com

Source: impawards.com

I watched the 2007 motion picture Across the Universe for the first time last night and found it to be a magical and mysterious tour of the late 1960s, which blended perfectly with an entire score of superb Beatles music and Fab Four-era lyrical references. Character names included Jude, Lucy, Rita, Jo-Jo, and Prudence for example. Throw in a singing character who resembles Janis Joplin (Sadie) and a guitar virtuoso who reminds you of Jimmie Hendrix (Jo-Jo) and you have quite the musical experience on film.

The visual aspects were simple entrancing whether industrial streets scenes in Liverpool, the terrors of the Vietnam War, or a hallucinogenic Bono-guided bus tour of America. My single favorite scene was during the song “Strawberry Fields.” In fact, given the move poster, the importance of this song to the film, the strawberry images near he conclusion of the film, I personally think the proper title of the film should  have been Strawberry Fields Forever.

Source: amazon.com

Source: amazon.com

The movie included excellent acting, particularly by Jim SturgessEvan Rachel Wood, and Joe Anderson, which was well-choreographed and interwoven within the framework of this musical love story between Jude and Lucy. Furthermore, the plot was very well-constructed and faithfully used the Beatles’ songs within the larger story.

If you have not seen Across the Universe, I highly recommend it. The movie will capture your imagination, fill your soul with great images and melodies, and remind those of us who group up around that time period of many fond (and not so fond) memories.

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