Friday, March 27, 2009

lift up your hearts and sing me a song

One of my favorite films that has come out in recent years was Julie Taymor's "Across the Universe." It was a film I liked not because of the script, or the plotline, but because of the truth in the story and the visual aspect of it as a whole. The use of the Beatles' music really lifted the film to a completely new level, I think. On its own, I felt the story had an okay enough narrative that turned the last few years of the sixties into a recognizable and nostalgic time for anyone watching the film. This was something I both liked and disliked about the film -- I was somewhat glad that the film was relatable to a wide audience, but I didn't feel like Across the Universe really awarded any true devout fans of the sixties or the Beatles, more specifically. The names of the characters in the film were obvious (Jude...Lucy...Sadie...JoJo). Some of the events of the 60s are glossed over so that the audience receives a beautifully turbulent package of this time -- antiwar protesting, rock music, and the drug counterculture -- all tied up in a pretty bow. By assuming that the audience knows the Beatle basics and the major events of the sixties, Taymor is given license to have fun with creating a psychedelic scene scored with newly-arranged classics. The film truly is a visual masterpiece; even in scenes that are rather superfluous to the storyline, you can't help but get carried away in the excitement. I remember reading in the New York Times review that Across the Universe was a film that you watched and fell in love with. "[Its] like falling in love with another person. Imperfections, however glaring, become endearing quirks once you’ve tumbled." I feel like this is really true. Across the Universe is a film where style triumphs over substance, but in the end, I love it dearly.