Review of “Across The Universe” (2007) PG-13 131min
February 11th, 2008 by Maxim · 4 Comments · 6,745 Views
The plot: an dock worker comes to United States from England to find his estranged father. There he falls in love with a teenage girl Lucy. When her brother is drafted into Vietnam, the young couple become peace activists.
The good: I liked the allegories and imagery used to describe horrors of war and the war machine. It also serves as a reminder of racism, drug abuse, abuse of human rights. As always, the young people were most active participants of human rights and peace movement with their “make love not war” message.
There were some nice scenes in this movie. My favorite was one where Max is drafted and goes through the pipeline of the army bureaucracy, where he is processed, pre-sorted, packaged, and shipped to Vietnam: reminded me of “We don’t need no education” from Pink Floyd’s movie “The Wall”. Which ironically leads me to…
The bad: there isn’t much story. The movie drags on for over two hours and is basically a sequence of musical videos. Might as well watch MTV. I think this is the problem of all song-based musicals like “Mama Mia” based on ABBA’s songs. The director and writer have to force themselves to piece the story together to make songs make sense in the context of the story. In many scenes the costumes and colors were a bit over the top, like I was watching “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” again. I understand that the director wanted to convey the rainbow colors of the peace movement and the hippie spirit of the 60s, and it worked most of the time, but not every time. The biggest criticism of this movie is that it’s, well, boring.
The summary: I think Julie Taymor has made her name directing Frida, which was such a good dramatic movie, but this one is… I won’t say it was directed badly, but I think “Across The Universe” was a movie she didn’t quite think through. The art aspect of the movie deserves a praise, however.
Credits: Director: Julie Taymor | Screenplay: Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais | Lucy: Evan Rachel Wood | Jude: Jim Sturgess | Max Carrigan: Joe Anderson | Sadie: Dana Fuchs | JoJo: Martin Luther | Prudence: T.V. Carpio | Original music: Elliot Goldenthal | Cinematorgaphy: Bruno Delbonnel | Art Direction: Peter Rogness | Revolution Studios
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