Watching this movie was like being in Heaven! I'm stunned at the amount of people who do not get this movie! I'm a writer/director /actor who has directed and written a feature film, so I like to think I have something of an educated opinion. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that Across The Universe is one of the most amazing films I have ever seen!
I totally 100% get what Julie Taymor was doing in this film and it is a masterpiece! It is about music, pure and simple. It is about the music and the feelings and experiences the music provides. She took those feelings and experiences and put them on screen. There have been complaints of character development and things of that nature; those people totally missed the point. All those things they expect to get out of narrative were presented even stronger by the music. You FEEL what they feel, you experience what they experience, and in a much stronger and more profound way than simple narrative. An image is worth a thousand words, and music is worth a thousand images!
There are times in the movie where certain harmonies hit and I literally felt like I was lifting up into the air and a feeling of euphoria surged over my body. I felt like I was in heaven for a brief moment. That may sound nuts, but I assure you it's very real. And the people I brought to the film with me the second time felt the exact same thing. She had these same feelings because when I would feel like I was in the sky the characters would all of a sudden be surrounded by blue sky, or a sky made of water.
The visual art was incredible as well. Visually the feelings and music were illustrated close to perfectly with captivating art. Even the charcoal drawings in the background in certain scenes were incredible! It is rare that I'm affected by visual art, but every piece of art in this film did something inside me. The film as a whole is "art" at it's best!
Across the Universe is a film you have to experience with the right side of your brain, not the left. If you don't get what the music is sharing with you, then you are missing 85% of the film and you are going to be left with just the bare bones. Of course you are going to think the film is flat! If you don't get the visual art either, then you are missing 98%.
It's all about FEEL! You feel your way through the story, which is much more profound than thinking your way through one like all the rest of the films do.
If you "get it" and can feel the journey the music and art is taking you through, you will be blown away by this film and experience something you've never experienced before. If not, you will be left wondering what on earth the director was thinking!