Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Blech
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This film is the most dreadful skinny-dipping in the pool of the past. Cheesy and nostalgic mise en scène over meaningful engagement with the music.
Took a break from my gangster-film fest to see this. ‘Lighten up!’ I said to myself. Glad I didn’t waste a tenner on this at the cinema; at least it’s fun to laugh at. This should have been a giveaway success. Moulin Rouge! shouldn’t have worked and this should: anachronistic music as opposed to setting a fantastic songbook in its own period. Yet MR! works wonderfully. This doesn’t. The historical mishmash (buzzcuts and bobby socks in one scene, hippies the next, back and forth; the blond guy looks like a time-traveller from the Noughties) is only one of its problems. Like the Fabs in their horrible films Jim Sturgess is better than this material.

It has its moments — early-1960s England, the businessmen’s dance for a few seconds in ‘Come Together’, the Dalí-like clouds in the otherwise awful interpretation of ‘Dear Prudence’, a few performances like ‘I Am the Walrus’ and ‘Because’ as self-contained music videos, and ‘Revolution’, IMO one of the only times the scene both does justice to the song and works well with the plot.

The second hour is better that way, once they stop jumping around in time... but stomaching the first is the challenge. As EW puts it:
It’s almost fun to pick out which use of the Beatles makes you gag the most.

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