Pros: the idea of the film; music by The Beatles; jokes; opportunity to avoid predictability Cons: moments from a comedy film about music, it turns into a rom-com “Yesterday” / Yesterday
Directed by Danny Boyle
Cast: Himesh Patel (Jack Malick), Lily James (Ellie), Kate McKinnon (Mandy), Ed Sheeran (playing himself), Ana De Armas (Roxanne), Lamorne Morris (Steven), Sofia Di Martino (Carol), Joel Fry (Rocky), James Corden (playing himself), etc.
Etalon Film, Working Title Films, Universal Pictures
Year of release 2019
The script for the film was written by Richard Curtis, who came up with the plots of the films “Notting Hill”, “Bridget Jones’s Diary”, “Mr. Bean” and “Love Actually”. The director was directed by the equally famous Danny Boyle, who directed the films “Trainspotting,” “The Beach,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “127 Hours” and “Steve Jobs.”
The two worked together in 2012, staging the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in London (the one where Mr. Bean performed with the orchestra and Queen Elizabeth arrived at the stadium in the company of James Bond). Some time later, Richard Curtis showed Danny Boyle the script for an unusual comedy about the only guy on Earth who had not forgotten The Beatles. Boyle liked the idea and they started the workflow.
To begin with, Curtis and Boyle selected about 20 songs by the Fab Four and paid $10 million for them to obtain the rights to use the compositions. This is quite a large sum for a British comedy. Then, having completed filming, they wrote about their work to Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Olivia Harrison (George Harrison’s widow) and Yoko Ono (who else but she would agree instead of John Lennon). None of them objected, so the film “Yesterday” was released worldwide without any obstacles.
The plot of the film “Yesterday” revolves around a musician named Jack. It is not very popular and completely unpromising. The only person who believes in his talent is his childhood friend Ellie. The girl serves as a manager and has been hiding her love for Jack for many years. Realizing another setback in his music career, Jack returns home and gets into an accident. Waking up in the hospital, the guy notices that he no longer has his front teeth. Another problem has appeared, which seems much worse – The Beatles are no more. And it never was. Jack tries to remind his friends of the legendary songs, but they perceive them as new melodies. Over time, other people begin to think that Jack wrote them himself.
“Yesterday” is a film about The Beatles, in which there is no attempt to recreate the biography of its members. In the script, Richard Curtis gave free rein to the imagination that audiences might not have appreciated in a classic biopic. There are no frameworks or facts here. Only funny and not always serious fiction about what the world would be like without four musicians. There is so much fiction in the film that it is perceived easily and does not offend the feelings of Beatles believers.
In its episodes, the film “Yesterday” is more reminiscent of a rom-com than a film about music. It contains an unexpected amount of love torment and sentiment (although this is exactly what one would expect from the screenwriter of “Love Actually”). Fortunately, they are diluted with the nuances of concert life, performances and illustrations about the self-interest of an assertive producer.
Ed Sheeran becomes a guide into the world of touring and studio recordings, portraying himself with a bit of irony. The main role is played by British actor Himesh Patel, who appeared in a feature film for the first time. Great bewilderment is one of Patel’s main emotions in the film. In addition to the comedic beginning, he also takes on the musical part. All the Beatles songs that the main character tries to remember are performed by Himesh himself. By the way, trying to recreate the lyrics without the help of Google is one of the funniest moments of the tape.
There are many complaints that can be made about the film, but there is no point. It has its own atmosphere, its own humor and, of course, music, which many viewers consider special to them. The picture is filled with the emotions of a slightly clueless fan of the band, who receives a dangerous dose of public attention in his direction. It is definitely pleasant to remember the best songs of The Beatles with him, so the film can be forgiven for being too romantic.
It seems that the ending of the comedy “Yesterday” can be guessed after reading the trailer. This is not entirely true. Closer to the end, a surprise awaits you, which can be treated differently, but we must admit that it really surprises.
Yesterday is a fun fantasy about how The Beatles influenced the world. It has good jokes and a sentimental love story.