Across The Universe

You don’t have to be a Beatles fanatic or a bra burning, anti war activist to appreciate Julie Taymor’s breathtaking movie, Across the Universe.  Although the movie is more like a musical because it’s all set to Beatles songs, it has a plot and dialogue to keep it flowing in sequence.

Unlike any other movie, it has its flaws; however, if you let yourself delve in, you will be swept away by Taymor’s creativity, imagination, and almost “trippy” staging and sets.  Her previous works include the very popular Lion King on Broadway, Frida, The Magic Flute at the Met and now this miraculous work of art.

Set in the 60’s at a time of unrest, we learn, that music is what we can depend on; it’s stable and reliable, unlike society which at times can be turbulent.  Before you shun the idea of another movie about Vietnam, this movie isn’t all war and peace rallies.  The way the Beatles formed a group, a group of friends was born, love was discovered, friendships jeopardized and hearts were broken. Although perhaps obvious at times what famous song was going to be sung, it’s amazing how a view or meaning of a song can change when a person of a different gender, color or race is singing.

Jon, Paul, George nor Ringo could never have imagined how significant and impactful their own words were and how without meaning to, they told a story of love and peace during a time of rebellion and war. Their music was intentional, in terms of individual songs about love, war or changing the world, but Julie Taymor was able to bring those independent musical miracles, into choreographed genius. Every step the actors took was intended and the beauty of the movie goes beyond the music. It’s the dance, the colors, the sets, originality and the inventiveness.

What was the take home message of Across the Universe?  It may be trite, but it’s unarguably true, “ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE.”

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