Soundtrack Review: Across the Universe

In keeping with tradition of my last post, I am writing another review of an album which pays tribute to one of the greatest bands of all time – The Beatles.  The film “Across the Universe” came out last year.  This was a movie that did not make too many waves in theaters – without good reason.  Wonderful film, but this post is dedicated to the soundtrack of that film.

The film takes place in the swinging 60s around New Jersey and New York’s Greenwich Village.  It is at the time of war, protests, peace, love and yes, I know it sounds like more of the same.  It is not.  “Across the Universe” tells its story through the songs of The Beatles.  Why listen to a soundtrack filled with Beatles tracks that is not performed by The Beatles?  Because even though it is not The Beatles, these songs are performed with such conviction that they will transport you back to the film so you may relive all of those moments.  And yes, you should see the film since you will not appreciate the soundtrack without the benefit of the film viewing.

It includes some of the greatest tracks from The Beatles’ collection.  All our sung with heart by the relatively unknown actors from the film.  Each song holds a specific storyline to the film.  “All My Loving” performed by Jim Sturgess, portraying Jude, signifies his leaving his girlfriend in Liverpool to travel to America to search for his family roots.  He quickly forgets that girlfriend when he meets Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood) which leads him to sing “I’ve Just Seen A Face”.

T.V. Carpio (Prudence) sings “I Want To Hold Your Hand” while longing to hold the hand of the head cheerleader whom is clearly heterosexual.  Later in the film, you witness Prudence falling for another unavailable woman: the musician Sadie (Dana Fuchs).  At one point of the film, Prudence locks herself in the bathroom while pining for her.  Sadie sings “Dear Prudence” to try and convince her to open the door.  Sadly, “Dear Prudence” is not included on the soundtrack.

Also on the soundtrack is the classic “Come Together” sung by Joe Cocker who makes a cameo in the film as a homeless man on the streets of the Village (still a common occurrence today).  Bono makes another cameo as Dr. Robert (a philospher of words) during which he performs “I Am the Walrus” with the Secret Machines while taking Jude and his friends on a psychedelic road trip.  During the end credits, Bono also sings “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”.  Even Salma Hayek makes a cameo as a nurse chiming in on “Happiness is a Warm Gun” with Jim Anderson who portrays Max, Lucy’s brother.

Although this film has many, many celebrity cameos, this film is special for what it represents: love and hope in a time of war.    Whenever I listen to the soundtrack, I am reminded of the film that takes its storyline, with great success, from the songs of The Beatles.  That is what makes the soundtrack so special.  After all of these years, people are still covering the tracks of The Beatles.  Not everyone is so successful, but I’m happy to say that this soundtrack succeeds.


July 14, 2008. Uncategorized.

One Comment

  1. Abbie replied:

    Wow, your writing style has really developed since you started this blog! More of your voice shines through with each post. And I love the new name – very cute!

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