The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review-Across the Universe

Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess play Jude and Lucy in Across the Universe, a musical film that uses songs from the Beatles to examine perspectives of pop culture. Photo courtesy Revolution Studios
Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess play Jude and Lucy in Across the Universe, a musical film that uses songs from the Beatles to examine perspectives of pop culture. Photo courtesy Revolution Studios

By Julissa Treviño/reporter

Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess play Jude and Lucy in Across the Universe, a musical film that uses songs from the Beatles to examine perspectives of pop culture.  Photo courtesy Revolution Studios
Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess play Jude and Lucy in Across the Universe, a musical film that uses songs from the Beatles to examine perspectives of pop culture. Photo courtesy Revolution Studios

Creating a connection between several stories and characters into a fantastic recap of the 1960s, director Julie Taymor and writers Dick Clement and Ian Le Frenais bring Across the Universe to life.

Playing only in a few locations around the metroplex, the film is a musical that uses songs from The Beatles to portray an interesting love story focused on two characters. In fact, there is little actual dialogue.

Although the film is ambitious in wanting to examine every possible perspective and pop culture reference from the era, it captures the audience with vivid imagery and interesting remakes of 34 classic Beatle’s songs.

The story centers on star-crossed lovers, Jude (played by Jim Sturgess) and Lucy (played by Evan Rachel Wood) who are faced with conflicts resulting from the Vietnam War.

The characters are intertwined, and with so much going on all the time, explaining the plot gets quite complicated. There is, however, a basic underlying story.

Sturgess plays a young Englishman from Liverpool who comes to America in search of his father, who does not realize he exists.

He encounters and becomes friends with Max, played by Joe Anderson.

Max leads Jude to meet his sister, Lucy, and Jude quickly becomes fascinated with her.

Max and Jude then move to New York City to live in a cramped apartment with neighbors and roommates, including Prudence (T.V. Caprio), and musicians Sadie (Dana Fuchs) and JoJo (Martin Luther McCoy).

Later when Lucy joins them for the summer, a romance quickly develops with Jude.

As Max gets drafted to Vietnam, Lucy gets involved in anti-war activism, only leading to a falling out with Jude.

Along the way, the film incorporates Beatles remakes through impressive, often bizarre, ways. “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” “Helter Skelter,” “Come Together” and “Stawberry Fields Forever” are a few songs included in the film.

Mostly sung by the actors themselves, the songs are awe-inspiring and fresh.

They bring out emotions that are overlooked in the originals. Above all, they are completely different.
Pop culture references are mixed in through whimsical plot digressions.

These plot developments lead either to psychedelic experiences with bright scenes or to beautiful cinematography and deep thoughts.

Dr. Timothy Leary’s “Turn On, Tune In and Drop Out” LSD advocacy is thrown into the mix when U2’s Bono portrays the character from the song, “Doctor Robert,” singing “I Am The Walrus.”

Salma Hayek plays Max’s nurses during “Happiness Is A Warm Gun.”

The character from “Being for the Benefit for Mr. Kite” is sung during a circus dream-like trip. Beatle’s references continue, as well as allusions to pop culture. From anti-war riots in Detroit to a reference to the popular “Café Wha?” in Greenwich Village, to Sadie and JoJo representing Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, the list goes on and on.

The allusions can be overwhelming. But the film, in its essence, is beautiful.

The film will make even the most skeptic viewer want to take a second look.

With its imaginative and dramatic cinematography, contemporary storyline and beautiful music, Across the Universe is utterly breathtaking.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian