Across the Universe (2007) Review

A poor Liverpudlian who ends up in America falls in love, whilst the Vietnam War is going on and everything is brought together by the music and songs of The Beatles.


Different, strange, odd, bizarre are all words which could be used to describe this film but I am going to use brilliant! Yes it is very different to pretty much anything that I have seen before, but it was just so incredible in my opinion. Parts of it were a little odd and out of this world, but I really thought that was the whole point. Its so visually striking and very cleverly written, to include a lot of different songs by The Beatles. In a way of telling a very nice story.

So the centre of the story is around Jude a man from Liverpool who heads to America to find his father of whom he had never met. That does not really work out but he meets Max who he becomes friends with and he meets his sister Lucy. Yes they do fall very much in love. But a lot of different factors are around to make it more difficult for them to be together. The story is all set in the 1960’s when the Vietnam war was going on.

The way each musical number is worked into the story was just incredible. With the two main character’s being named Jude and Lucy, you can just tell which songs those are based on and just know they are going to be in the film at some point but its interesting to see how they are going to appear in it. I think the “Hey Jude” part was joint favorite with “All You Need Is Love” with “Little Help From My Friends” closely behind those. Just incredible.

I was really lost for words whilst watching this movie, but I can imagine not many people I know even getting past the first 10 minutes of this movie. I would say yes you have to kinda like musicals to watch this but you don’t need to love them, as it is a totally different take on them. I would like to say it is kinda on the lines of Moulin Rouge for not having any original songs (yes I know MR has one) . . . and reworking well known and well loved music, to place it all in a different context.

I bet “The Beatles” while writing their songs which are so loved never in a million years would have thought 40+ years later that they could be arranged like this to make sure an amazing story. I really liked Bono’s appearance in what I would defiantly call a major dream sequence, and exactly how I would have expected the 60’s to be with all the colour and just wackiness. Also Eddie Izzard, who I had no idea was in this. Was just brilliant in his bizarre musical number, fantastic!

Again I have to thank good old netflix for allowing me to watch this. While I can vaguely remember hearing a little about a movie with Beatles songs in it . . . I did not realise how brilliant it would be. So again something I probably would never have seen if it was not for watch instantly on netflix. (Yes I do love netflix and I am not ashamed to admit it.)

I would really recommend this movie but warn people that it is so different and off the page. I would not want someone to watch and just not get it, so I feel the small warning would be such a great idea. But if you are willing to watch something very different and be open minded about it, then go for it! If not then stay away. I for one am now a big fan of this film.

6 thoughts on “Across the Universe (2007) Review

  1. Loved this movie. I was lucky enough to catch it at the ’07 Toronto Film Festival, and director Julie Taymor did a rather extensive and informative Q&A afterwards. During the talk, she made mention of one of the things that makes me dig this movie more than many other movie-musicals being released nowadays:

    The singing was recorded live.

    Feels like far too ofetn, I’m watching an actor sing in a big open room, and the soundtrack makes it sound like they’re wailing in a sound studio. It’s distracting…at least for me.

    Oh, and for what it’s worth my favorite scene is “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”.


  2. Thats really cool, to know that the singing was recorded live as it does not seem to be done like that anymore.

    I found the “I wanna Hold your hand” scene very moving. For what reasons is it your favorite?


  3. Many of the songs are rather faithfully re-arranged, this was one of the few that was re-interpreted. What really amazed me, was how what’s usually a bouncy-happy song can sound so sweetly melancholy.

    Visually, I really dug the fact that we get a momentary fake-out as to who Prudence is singing about. It was a clever touch. Finally, the way she walks through the players who continue their pattern play around her. Their moves are so subtly choreographed, that for a moment or two it doesn’t even register that they are moving on-rhythm.

    By the way, if you’re curious here’s what I wrote about it at the time.


  4. I liked this movie, it sorts of sags a little about 2/3 of the way once Bono’s character gets on the bus but there was some really great moments that almost made up for the weird ones. Particularly liked the gospel version of Let it Be. Great! you gave me the idea for tomorrow’s movie soundtrack of the day 😉


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.