Guest Author - Lizz Shepherd
Across the Universe is a recent theatrical release based on a very odd premise, though it will likely be pleasing to Beatles fans. The entire length of Across the Universe is punctuated by Beatles songs that correspond to the plot. From the premise and look of the movie, though, the plot of Across the Universe looks like it was written to correspond to as many Beatles songs as possible. That's as good a premise for a movie as any, as most movies should be featuring Beatles songs. But, the plot is a little thin and unoriginal, according to most of the reviews.
The point that many viewers may find will make or break the movie for them is that all of the songs are covered. The arrangements and vocals are outstanding, but you don't actually get to hear our boys. The selection of songs is diverse and spans most of the Beatle years, but mainly relies only on the best known songs rather than pulling up any lesser-known wonders that could have introduced the general public to something they had never heard before. All of the staples are there: Hey Jude, All You Need is Love, Girl, I Want to Hold Your Hand, etc. There are 33 Beatles songs in all, every one of which plays a main part in the movie- larger even than the characters or the plot.
For Beatles fans, that's all you really need. It's a chance to sit back and listen to the Beatles, or their songs anyway, while seeing some non-Beatle related people onscreen. Non-Beatles are rarely interesting, let's face it, but the plot of Across the Universe does attempt to entertain. The setting is the 60s, and the plot is everything that would suggest, including war protesting and young romance. The story isn't terribly deep, and relies much on romantic-movie cliches, but the plot really isn't the point. A more engaging, unusual plot would only take the attention away from the music. The point is how much music affects us and becomes the backdrop of our lives, making us feel things we ordinarily might not. And, of course, it's about how brilliant the Beatles were. When you think about it, more movies should make that same point.
The Across the Universe Soundtrack You can also listen to samples of many of the songs from the movie. Have you seen the movie? Come to the Classic Rock forum and tell us all about it.
The movie is now out on DVD as well as being available for download.