Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Across the Universe
WORTH-IT: (Julie Taymor) I admit, I went into this film expecting to find fault (and I loathe expectations going into movies), but what I ended up with was a great experience of a what can best be described as a Beatles-infused Rent. That said, the music was inevitably fantastic. The rich and melancholy sounds of the Beatles tell a story on screen of our world wrapped up in war and changes, seeking out love for each other and for themselves. The characters represent popular personalities of the time. The immigrant who feels estranged by the culture he isn't really a part of, the sheltered young girl who finds passion in making a difference, the dropout who gets drafted into a war he doesn't support and a band of hippie musicians looking to make their break in a society needing an escape. The music illustrates a storyline of universal struggle, and ends with "all you need is love" as the motto to get through the hard times. I wouldn't call this film phenomenal, simply because I felt like I had seen it before in the form of a psychedelic Rent. But standing alone, it is good. You will enjoy the colorful unfolding of history, find yourself singing along to well-known oldies, and allowing your heart to enter into the characters, your spirit will find its place in Universe's message. You might even experience the threshold of tenderness that surfaces only after lessons learned. Before you go renting this one though, understand it is a musical, and look for the story within the lyrics rather than the dialogue. Let yourself appreciate the aesthetics of color and emotion that back up the music. You'll enjoy it.