Sunday, January 10, 2010

Across the Universe

I just watched Across the Universe the other night. You know that musical that uses all the Beatles music. I've talked to a few people who have seen it and they all seem to give it mediocre reviews but all for a different reason. I guess there's a lot not to like?

I really really really like musicals. But i was turned off by this one at first because I found the use of popular song to be kind of distracting to the process of settling in to get to know the characters which is so important in the first fifteen minutes of film but I'm glad I stuck it out and watched the whole thing.

I liked this movie but didn't love it. I'm not a huge Beatles fan and this film confirmed for me what I already thought. They have some really good songs but I don't think they are end-all be-all of music. If you aren't already a Beatles fan, I don't think you'll come away from this movie one. I might even be a little sour towards the Beatles. A boyfriend once cited them while breaking up with me. Apparently love was not all he needed.

I thought this film was lovely to look at, a cool idea, but ultimately a bit overambitious. The plot was a bit weak in spots and some characters seemed to have been written in so they could have the same name as a song. This is particularly true of Prudence who didn't move the plot along like other minor characters and just kinda popped in and out without reason. This was disappointing really because they set her up to be a main character by featuring her as with Lucy and Jude in the very begining of the movie.

I was also kinda put off by the over psychedelic scenes. When it began to look a bit too much like a music video, it took me away from the plot. I was also annoyed by many of the cliches. In general I find psychedelics to be the least interesting thing about the 60s and find it really irritating when it is linked to a moral superiority. I'm anti-war too but I don't think frying your brain and claiming yourself as artist is a political statement. I'd rather be one of the squares.

So yeah, I wasn't very impressed by this movie. But I do like the 60s and I do like watching attractive people break into song without a moment's notice.

I'd recommend this though if you are a Beatles fan or are curious about seeing what Glee might have looked like in the 60s.

1 comment:

  1. This is a very good review. I really did like the movie for most of the reasons you listed and was disappointed for some of the same reasons. However, i am an avid beatles fan, and i was very intrigued by this concept. I have seen it twice. I loved the beginning (simple boy from europe and all that plot) and there were enough things to keep me watching. Although I kept thinking that I would buy it, I still have not. Ialways find some other more pressing or interesting movie to buy. (That might say something.) I did find it fascinating that bono was the one the sing "I am the Walrus." (It was a little like getting the Killers or VHS or Beta to do a tribute to the Smiths.) I agree that the psychedelic was at times much too much. I am very sorry that the beatles were ruined for you in such a horrible manner. That is enough to ruin any band for anyone. They were however such and intregal part of my childhood and development (learning to play the guitar, listening to beatles weekends on the radio station with my sisters, etc.) that I probably couldn't extricate them from my life even if I tried. I like your reviews. Do more!