Tony's Take

YESTERDAY review

Yesterday, Everyone Knew the Beatles

Struggling musician Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) is on the verge of giving up; he plays for small crowds and realizes his dream may just never come true.  After an unfortunate side stage appearance at a festival, he is finished.  As he bikes home, a mysterious, worldwide blackout occurs and he finds himself being hit by a bus.  Waking-up in the hospital, his guitar is smashed and he’s missing two of his front teeth.  After receiving a gift from his friends in the form of a new guitar, he painfully learns that the World no longer remembers who The Beatles are or any of their music.  With his longtime friend and manager Ellie (Lily James) taken-aback by his rendition of the songs, she is relentless in her pursuit of a studio recording session.  As “his” music reaches the masses, he begins to feel strong guilt as he is standing atop the greatness of John, Paul, George, and Ringo and stealing their glory.  As his fame continues to tower to unimaginable heights, his true wants in life become apparent to him and his most profound dream is within reach.  However, Jack soon learns that fame and fortune isn’t as it seems and he faces his most profound decision yet.

Danny Boyle’s “Yesterday” reminds moviegoers the incredible, raw power the music of The Beatles has over the World; still to this day.  Himesh Patel and Lily James propel the film from an average rom-com to powerful tale of love; their chemistry is unmistakable and truly elevates the film at every turn.  A strong supporting cast of Kate McKinnion, Ed Sheeran, Joel Fry, and Alexander Arnold make the film even better, with McKinnion in a serious role but with plenty of her special talent on display.  James Corden, Harry Mitchell, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Meera Syal, and countless others round-out this fun ensemble.

As mentioned before, the music of The Beatles is the heart and soul of the film.  Each song is used with precision, allowing the viewer to feel the amplified version of the intended emotional response.  Songs of happiness, songs of gloom, songs of celebration and fun; all of them are scattered throughout and you’ll find yourself humming, singing, or tapping along as “Let It Be”, “All You Need is Love”, “Here Comes the Sun”, “She Loves You”, and countless others blare from the theater speakers!  The film takes a little bit to get going and falters during its middle, but it picks back up for its finale; with the film possibly being a bit too bloated with its 116 minute runtime.  “Yesterday” also takes a number of predictable turns, but still manages to give you enough surprise in the end.  In a summer filled with comic book, action, and horror films, “Yesterday” is an original love story that puts you in a fun mood and is appropriate for the whole family.

“Yesterday” has a great premise, but without the stunning leads or accompanying cast it would just be another romantic comedy.  Thankfully, Boyle has crafted an incredibly fun and original story of love for today’s generation.  Not only that, but he also introduced The Beatles to a brand new generation as well!  It’s a fun, feel-good film that will be sure to put a smile on your face! 

 3.5/5

YESTERDAY is rated PG-13 for suggestive content and language, in theaters JUNE 28TH!