Across the Universe - All You Need is Love
| What I love about Julie Taymorís films is that she isnít afraid to tell her stories in the manner that she wants to. She uses bizarre images that evoke the emotions of her characters to create a world for her story to exist in. She isnít afraid to make a movie that hasnít been seen before.
Across the Universe is a good example. Sure the story is familiar (she rips it right out of the film adaptation of Hair) and the music is familiar (could there be a more recognisable canon of music than that of the Beatles?) and the characters are all drawn fairly thin. But, what makes Across the Universe so original is her vision. She finds images that express passion, anger, ideology, lust, whatever and she does so in a way uniquely hers. She creates something beautiful out of the stuff lying around all of us.
Thatís what makes Across the Universe so special to me. Sheís made something beautiful and sheís done so by taking the mundane and filling it full of love. How appropriate for a musical inspired by the work of the artists who said all you need is love. Beatles music is so ubiquitous, so a part of each of our lives, so overplayed, that to take it and turn it into something that feels new is remarkable. Same with the story and characters. These are archetypes and sheís made them feel relevant and engaging.
Across the Universe evokes an era in such a way that it is both nostalgic and critical. While it may be a Gen Y film, it espouses Gen X values in how lovingly it is disappointed in the Baby Boomerís failures.
And the music rocks. The Beatles are The Beatles for a reason. If they hadnít been so great they would have been forgotten long ago. T Bone Burnett and his posse have done a great job adapting the songs to the film and filling the soundtrack with beautiful voices and adaptations. A musical without good music isÖ wellÖ Hairspray and is kind of disappointing. A good musical leave you humming the songs. I canít get I've Just Seen a Face out of my head.
And I canít get the lovely feeling of falling in love out of my mind either. What a nice feeling to leave a cinema with.
This is a wonderfully sweet confection of love, song and art which is a treat for all audiences. It may not be substance but it is wonderfully indulgent. Let yourself sink in an enjoy it. Itís worth it.