We know one of them from Academy Award-winning and nominated films such as “Slumdog Millionaire” and “127 Hours” while the other swept us off our feet with sweet movies like “Love Actually” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral”. Now they’re coming together.
Yes, we’re talking about Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis. They get the help from writer Jack Barth (“The Fabulous Picture Show”, “Japanorama”) and the result of their first collaboration is “Yesterday”, a charming and crowd-pleasing movie about how the world would look like if (almost) everyone forgot about The Beatles. However, for some of us “Yesterday” might be a long and winding road…
Meet Jack Malik (Himesh Patel), a struggling musician and singer-songwriter. Being guided by his manager Ellie Appleton (Lily James), he’s playing in local pubs where almost no one is interested in him.
Ready to take the plug out of his career, Jack gets one more shot as he’s invited to play the Lattitude festival. However, it’s again a disaster, a humiliation and a shattered dream. As if things couldn’t get worse for him, Jack is being caught up in a traffic accident.
After waking up from a coma, something seems totally off. And it’s certainly not only him missing his front two teeth. After playing one of The Beatles songs, it seems that no one heard of The Beatles apart from Jack himself.
Not sure what’s going on, Jack is doing the one thing every one of us would do. Googling. His world gets even crazier when there absolutely no mention of The Beatles whatsoever.
Being stunned at first, Jack takes this opportunity to bring The Beatles songs as his own. A decision that will change his career forever! The greatest of the music industry such as Ed Sheeran are queueing up to work with him and there’s even the possibility of a double-album.
However, with the rise of fame and money comes a downside such as losing his friends and having doubts about what he’s doing is the right thing. He’s committing fraud after all.
It doesn’t take long before Jack is finding himself on a very important crossroad: Choosing his musical career but putting his relationships to the test, or give up the immortality but being true to his friends and family?
Imagine how bleak the music world would look like if there weren’t songs such as Hey Jude, I Want to Hold Your Hand, Back in the U.S.S.R. and She Loves You.
The Fab Four clearly put their mark on music history and with “Yesterday”, Danny Boyle is paying tribute to them in a wonderful way. While the story itself might be (very) predictable (or we just have seen too many of those rom-coms), the music is what keeps this film together.
While almost every five minutes we’re being graced with another great song (especially towards the end), they do fit into the storyline and that’s why “Yesterday” doesn’t become of those musical films where they sing out of the blue a totally unnecessary song.
The songs aren’t the only things that make from this movie such a pleasant one to watch but also the entertaining performances. After seeing him as a regular in “EastEnders” and “Damned”, it’s quite surprising to know that, twelve years after appearing on the small screen for the first time, Himesh Patel is making his film debut with “Yesterday”.
He’s doing it with a lot of grace, humour and musical talent and it’s impossible not to like Jack. Opposite Patel, there’s Lily James (“Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again”, “Darkest Hour“) as the charming, elegant but also head-strong and determined Ellie who clearly knows what she wants.
Also, the guest performances from Ed Sheeran and Kate McKinnon (“The Spy Who Dumped Me”, “Rough Night”) give this film an incredible musical, humourist and delightful touch.
This latest Danny Boyle was selected as the Tribeca Closing Night Film and if you want to see it before anyone else in the UK, then you should head to the Edinburgh Film Festival.
“Yesterday” is a loveable, romantic and funny comedy filled with the superb songs of The Beatles. Let it be the film you see if you’re into a crowd-pleasing and relaxing movie.
However, if you’re more a fan of a film with more depth, action, and less predictability, then “Yesterday” will be a long and winding road for you.