Throwback Thursday Review: Across the Universe

  • Actors: Evan Rachel Wood
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: 2009
  • Run Time: 133 minutes



    The announcement alone of a Beatles spectacle from the director, Julie Taymor, was enough to irritate a wave of purist fans. Taymor is not unfamiliar with the reforming of previous works of art in different mediums. She was responsible for the Broadway adaptation of the Disney cartoon, The Lion King, now adapting a series of Beatles song into a filmed musical which is able to ride on the past success of Moulin Rouge which did the same. Although The Beatles purists may shy away from the young voices altering the songs to make them fit in the musical better, both meaning and tunes, there is no denying that the plentiful selection of songs from this period fit quite well in this simple love story set during the turbulent days of the Vietnam War in the 1960s.


    The music really is the most important element in the film, especially towards the end of the film when the plot starts to run thin and song after song fills the ending sequences. The music is also the most creative part of the film, such as the scene in which a lonely lesbian sings “I Wanna Hold your Hand” to her fellow cheerleader as a ballet of football players spiral across the screen in a violent dance of tackles and catches, or a small child singing “Let It Be” amidst a raging riot in Detroit. Although Taymor is an accomplished film director having made several successful films before this, it is the theatrical background that comes into play as the film fluidly moves from music to dialogue as if it were the most natural thing in the world.