When young dockworker Jude leaves Liverpool to find his estranged
father in America, he is swept up by the waves of change that
are re-shaping the nation. Jude falls in love with Lucy, a
rich but sheltered American girl who joins the growiing anti-war
movement in New York's Greenwich village. As the body count
in Vietnam rises, political tensions at home spiral out of
control and the star-crossed lovers find themselves in a psychedelic
world gone mad.
your beliefs and dive into the world that is Across the Universe.
This is not a conventional movie. You don’t watch it
for a good plot. This is not a conventional musical. You don’t
watch it to hear powerful vocals. This Julie Taymor-directed
film is about an experience – an experience that you
have to see and listen for yourself. And it definitely helps
if you are a Beatles fan.
133-minute picture includes over 30 Beatles’ songs sung
by fictional characters living in the 1960s. Set in England,
America, and Vietnam, this story follows Lucy and Jude (a
nice coincidence as the songs titles will reveal later) as
they fall hopelessly against the backdrops of the anti-war
movement and social protests of the 60s.
not be disappointed by the clichéd love story played
out by the good-looking young stars Evan Rachel Wood (The
Upside of Anger, Running with Scissors) and Jim Sturgess (The
Other Boleyn Girl, 21). Instead, be swept away by the directors’
creativity as she creates a visually enticing stage for her
viewers. Filmmaker Taymor (Frida, Titus) is known for her
knowledge in international folklore and mythology, as well
as her enthusiasm and passion for theatre. Hence you’d
get musical numbers that are uniquely cross-genre and cross-cultural.
Watch out for musical sequences like the trippy and psychedelic
“I am the Walrus”, the crazy and colorful “Being
for the Benefit of Mr. Kite” and the hypnotic and magnetic
“Happiness is a Warm Gun”. You have to see how
they play out against the context of the film to realize how
imaginative and inventive the filmmakers are.
there are quirky songs, there are beautiful numbers to enjoy
too. The lyrical “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, the
heartbreaking “Let it be” and the gorgeous “Dear
Prudence” are songs you’d want to put on repeat
modes on your player.
cast is spot on for this picture as well. Other than the attractive
Rachel Wood and Sturgess, the energetic performances of Joe
Anderson (an English actor playing Lucy’s brother),
TV Carpio (daughter of Asian singing star Teresa Carpio playing
the lesbian roommate) will engage you. Musically trained Dana
Fuchs and Martin Luther McCoy add to the credibility of the
movie, and a cameo by Irish rock band U2 vocalist Bono adds
to the fun of the movie.
is a picture you have to experience for yourself. The colors,
the art, the design, the music, the dance and how they all
come together makes up the magic that is Across the Universe.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
This Code 3 2-disc Collector’s Edition DVD
contains a generous amount of extra features that will please
any true fan of the movie.
Commentary with Julie Taymore and Elliot Goldenthal–
The feature length commentary by the director and the music
producer/ composer sheds light on several artistic decisions
made for the movie. You’ll get to hear how certain dialogue
created controversy during the scripting stage and how the
six main characters of the movie were introduced one by one
through the different Beatles songs.
”And I Love Her” Deleted Scene
– Hear Luther McCoy croon this tune in the rundown apartment
with Fuchs lying on the bed.
for the Benefit of Mr. Kite alternate takes –
See how Eddie Izzard performs the kooky song in miraculous
one take in two different versions here.
Gallery – Take a look at production stills,
design photographs and behind the scene pictures for the movie.
– There are trailers for other Sony releases like 21,
The Other Boleyn Girl, Vantage Point and Persepolis.
Creating the Universe – The 29-minute
featurette is a detailed documentation of the movie’s
production process. Cast and crew are interviewed on how the
film was conceptualized and what great joy it was to work
with Taymore because of her strong visions. It is also touching
to see them break down with true emotions during the filming
of the tear-jerking number “Let it be”.
of Tomorrow – The 27-minute featurette introduces
the leads and shows how each of them were specially picked
for their roles. Hear how Rachel Wood found it difficult to
sing certain songs and how Carpio’s father showed so
much enthusiasm he got a part in the movie.
About the Music – The 15-minute clip has Oscar
winner Goldenthal talking about the musical arrangements of
certain songs in the movie. Hear how a quiet introduction
works for the opening sequence “Girl” and how
the same approach works for “If I Fell”.
Across the Universe – In this 9-minute clip,
you get to hear how choreography plays an important role in
both out of this world sequences like “Come Together”
and naturalistic ones like “With a Little Help from
on the Universe – The amazing computer generated
effects of this movie are revealed in this 7-minute clip where
you see how “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite”
and the psychedelic end credits are created.
Musical Performances – Relive some of the most
magical songs like “Hold Me Tight”, “Dear
Prudence” and “Something” in this 35-minute
visual transfer is impressive and showcases the film’s
intricate art design. There are language options of English,
Spanish and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 available.
by John Li