By James Davidson
“Yesterday” is a new film based on the music of the classic pop-rock supergroup, The Beatles. Jack Malik is a Beatles fan and struggling musician on his way home from a gig, when he is struck by a bus, during a mysterious worldwide power outage. When he comes to, he discovers that he is the only one in the world that remembers The Beatles. All of their lyrics and music never existed and have never been heard by anybody. He immediately begins to recreate all of their songs in an effort to “make it big”, and to create the greatest selling super album of all time. As he becomes more and more popular, Jack struggles with the fact that he is taking credit for writing some of the greatest songs of all time which he didn’t really create himself.
While I am not a big Beatles fan, I can probably only name about three of the more popular songs, and even then I only know the chorus’; I am aware of who they are and I know that they are a huge part in musical history. I thought that this was an interesting, original concept for a movie and I was looking forward to seeing how it would be executed. I thought it had the potential to be very funny and a pretty decent movie.
This movie was definitely entertaining and the acting was exceptional. Himesh Patel, who plays Jack Malik, plays his role well. He is serious when he needs to be and adds just the right amount of humor to keep the feel of the movie light and fun. The rest of the cast is equally strong; Lily James, who plays Jack’s first manager and love interest, is the perfect compliment to Himesh. The two have fantastic chemistry that lights up the screen and makes the film even more enjoyable. Ed Sheeran, who plays himself, has a great role in this movie and adds a lot of comedic relief. For example, Ed thinks that the lyrics to “Hey Jude” are a bit dated and suggests that Jack change the lyrics to “Hey Dude” to update the song.
While the humor in the movie is great, there are a lot of serious parts in the film. The filmmakers and actors do a great job at transitioning between scenes that are serious and emotional into ones with comedic tones. I never felt like the movie was too serious, too heavy, or too light. The film has a great balance and seamlessly transitions between tones.
If I had one complaint about “Yesterday” it would be that it seems to drag on in places, especially towards the ending. The ending is a bit predictable and since I could see how the film was going to end, I felt like I was waiting for the movie to “catch up” with me. While I thought that the ending was a bit predictable, it was still a great and fitting end to a fun, original movie, even if the ending wasn’t so original.
I really enjoyed the music in the movie. As I stated before, I haven’t been exposed to much Beatles music, but I really enjoyed the movie’s interpretation of the songs and I might have to start listening to more of the original songs. I can imagine that a true Beatles fan would enjoy this movie even more than me, and people like me will be introduced to great new music.
“Yesterday” is rated PG-13 for suggestive content and language. I don’t think this movie would be appropriate for young children, but I saw a lot of parents taking their teenage children to see this movie. It would be a great movie for parents to take their middle or high school aged kids to introduce them to the Beatles.
“Yesterday” is a funny, original, movie that features great music and fantastic acting. It’s an interesting look at whether taking credit for something that isn’t yours, even if everybody thinks it is, is ethical or not. I will definitely be seeing this movie again and I recommend this movie for any Beatles fan. It earns 4.5 out of 5 stars.