Across The Universe
I knew of the movie and wanted to see it ever since it was launched in 2007. I don’t know why I waited for so long to eventually see it… Probably, as I said to a good friend, I hesitated to watch it because I knew I would like it too much… That sounds like a stupid reason, doesn’t it? Well, the truth is that beautiful things tend to make me too hopeful in life, and whenever I have high expectations, I get too easily disappointed… Good movies don’t just give Hollywood-like happy endings, good movies make happy endings seem realistic. And unfortunately, in reality, things don’t really happen that way.
So, returning to the movie… There’s something about musicals that makes them seem incredibly non-plausible and that is the fact that people unexpectedly start to sing. This is a convention that, in the case of a well put together musical, the viewer will stop noticing in less than 10 minutes after the movie has begun. The atmosphere in “Across the Universe” is so surreal, that the fact that people suddenly start to sing is not something too out of the usual. The action is set in the 1960s, the decade in which the Beatles rose to fame, and the atmosphere is hippy and narcoticly blurry, it all seems like a dream… the music just adds up to the feeling.
The story is one of love and the names of the characters are taken from Beatles songs. The British-born Jude, an idealist and a dreamer raised in poor conditions by his single mother, goes to the US in order to find his father. But there, he meets the crazy rebel of bourgeois origins, Max, and his beautiful sister, Lucy, who give his life an unexpected turn. A romance is born between Jude and Lucy, but they find themselves torn apart by the fact that they come from different worlds and were taught to see life in very different ways and sometimes love may not be strong enough to overcome everything, in spite of all the songs saying otherwise. The war in Vietnam does not only take lives, but it also kills the dreams of the young, who find themselves helpless in the cruelty if the decisions taken by others for them…
The story is beautiful and the music made me sing along to better versions of famous Beatles songs. The special appearances made by Joe Cocker and U2’s Bono are also a delight, especially when it comes to Irish-born Bono’s redneck accent in the movie. All the actors sing beautifully, Jude (Jim Sturgess) was my personal favorite, but the most amazing voice is that of Sadie (Dana Fuchs – who is in fact a blues singer, touring across the USA with her very own The Dana Fuchs Band).
All in all, across the Universe offered, beneath all the conventions of a musical, a beautiful and very much plausible love story. I recommend watching it and not just once; here is my favorite interpretation of the movie: