Running Time: 133 mins
Rated: Rated M
An intriguing question is to ask who is the target audience for this film. The poster is rather psychedelic, taking us back forty years. But, who under 30 to 40 is automatically going to want to go back to those times of forty years ago? Clearly, those who have a hankering after the 1960s will be keen to see the film - and perhaps those for whom the 60s were a mystery or a time of change, war and protest that has had a traumatic effect.
Whatever the case, this is all highlighted and underlined in Across the Universe. The title is from a Beatles' song which features towards the end but, surrounding it, are more than 30 other Beatles songs, some very well known, others much less well known, but all picked to offer lyrics which explain the characters and the plot.
The screenplay was written by the long-standing British team of Dick Clement and Ian Le Frenais who were writing for film and television in those times. Their angle is quite nostalgic. The director is the American, Julie Taymor, who made Titus and Frida and is famous for directing the stage version of The Lion King. She has a musical and lavish theatrical background which is strongly to the fore here. One can easily imagine a stage version of Across the Universe. The costume design is already done (a creative use of masks and other devices used on stage in The Lion King). Some very stylised sets and action pieces are ready and are inserted here into the realism of the rather straightforward plot: Liverpool lad (whose name is, hey, Jude) goes to America meets a young girl, Lucy (and, yes, it sung during the cosmic final credits) with a brother, Max, who is drafted (in what looks like a good parody of Hair) and serves in Vietnam. They all live in New York with a singer and her guitar-playing boyfriend. Lucy gets involved with the peace movement. Jude is deported, but