I watched Across the Universe for the second time today. I've been hearing about this movie for countless times in the last few years, but never really watched it until lately. I was so blown-away the first time that I had to watch it again. The measure of good films for me is of having the same effect on you, every time, no matter how many times you've watched it already. (Exhibit A: Titanic) I didn't go all giddy at the bowling scene like I did the first time, but nonetheless, I still loved it. I wonder why some people (meaning Chase) I've asked before, when I haven't seen it yet, would say, "It's okay. You'll probably just enjoy it because of the Beatles songs." Well at least they got one thing right--I did enjoy the songs. A lot. But I can't seem to level with the "it's okay" comment. Because it's so much more than that. And it can't just be the The Beatles fanatic (nor the musical fan) in me speaking.
I'm no critic; but I think I know a good thing when I see it. The parallelism shown in the sequence during Let It Be, for me, is the icing on the cake. With a simple song, everything that was wrong with America during that period was portrayed. There they were, shipping young men to Vietnam to fight a war that wasn't even theirs to begin with, while a more tragic war happened inside their own land. It was a time of violence and discrimination against the Negros; a civil war they couldn't remedy.
The symbolism in the movie was a favorite element for me as well. Two that stood out was the one with the young, giant soldiers stripped down and marching across a tiny land carrying Liberty on their shoulders. America's mindset works like that, sometimes. They like marching into foreign lands, acting all big and macho, while the ones sent to the battlefield are stripped naked, seized of every hopeful belief they used to have about freedom. The second was the women painted in white dancing above the waters. They crumbled into the water as everything that used to be good, and free, and innocent drowned with the models of war and hate. "Happiness is a warm gun," as one song in the movie says. How ironic.
All these, is why I think the final song was perfect. All We Need Is Love. What better way to put it? Call me an idealist, but despite all the reasons people have given us enough to lose faith, at the end of the day, I'd still prefer to believe in the good in this world.
Ahh, dammit The Beatles, you got everything right they just had to make a movie out of your songs. You're still not as powerful as God, though. At least that's one thing you didn't get right.