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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Accross the Universe

Going to the movies has been a desirable pastime for over 100 years, music videos have acquired their own fleet of television stations, and the Beatles are regarded as one of the most influential bands of all time. The obvious question here is why, before now, has no one had the idea to meld these three powerful mediums together. Director Julie Taymor was finally struck by that brilliance, and attempted the Beatles music video movie entitled Across The Universe.

Set in the height of Beatle-mania, a cast of conveniently named characters, not only portray a captivating story, but fluidly include over 30 authentic Beatles songs effortlessly into their daily actions. Each main character has numerous scenes where they belt out a classic, or not so classic, Beatles tune. The surprising thing is, they manage not to butcher them.

Evan Rachel Wood, the quintessential troubled youth from 2003’s Thirteen, plays Lucy, a fresh-out-of-high school Jersey girl who heads to New York City to stay with her brother Max, played by Joe Anderson. Max is a recent dropout from Princeton University who is shacking up with Liverpool native, Jude (Jim Sturgess). Their apartment also houses Sadie, Dana Fuchs, an aspiring singer with a voice like Janice; JoJo, Martin Luther McCoy, a guitarist who is convinced by Sadie to play in her band; and Prudence, who ‘came in through the bathroom window’, and professes her desire for the same sex by serenading them from afar.

While the premise of the movie was enjoyable, the issue of time definitely comes into play. At 2 hours and 11 min, an audience may wonder if the film could have been more carefully edited. There were a number of scenes that can really only be described as “trippy”. It seems as if these scenes were meant to be watched while under the influence of some type of psychedelic drug, though viewing them sober may give some baby boomers a flashback or two.

Parts of the movie dragged on and certain performances failed to captivate this moviegoer’s attention. Though Even Rachel Wood does, admittedly, have a strong and powerful voice, her acting and the development of her character failed to truly move me. Maybe someone else could have brought more to the movie than her performance offered, yet the part and characteristics of Lucy did not allow for a whole lot more.

Newcomer Jim Strugess gives a memorable performance as the token Beatleesque character. Hailing from the Beatles hometown of Liverpool, complete with shaggy do, cute accent, and unforgettable voice, Sturgess was both noteworthy and impressive.

Though the rest of the cast succeeded in both acting as well as singing, one of the most stunning elements of the film was the scenery. A number of scenes take place in the streets of New York City, yet you wouldn’t have any idea they were filmed just a year or two ago from first glance. The settings were incredibly elaborate and accurate, as one child of the sixties informed me.

Across The Universe works as a great date movie, a movie for friends, or even a movie to go see with your parents- depending on their generation. Aside from a few scenes whose enjoy-ability would increase with, say, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, the Beatles music video movie was an immense success with audiences of a wide variety of ages.