Yesterday is full of music and love and all the good feelings you’ll ever need. What could be better?
The setup in Yesterday is that suddenly no one remembers The Beatles or their music except a failing musician named Jack Malik (Himesh Patel). He becomes famous singing Beatles songs. There are a couple of other things no one else remembers, as well, but I won’t spoil the joke by telling you what they are.
A beautiful, warm-hearted cast made the film sparkle. Himesh Patel as Jack was perfect. His manager (who’d been in love with him since junior high) was Ellie (Lily James). Lily James is so freakin’ cute in this part, and I mean that as a compliment. Just look at her image on the poster below – supremely cute.
Jack’s parents were Sheila (Meera Syal) and Jed Malid (Sanjeev Bhaskar). Did you know Sanjeev Bhaskar can be hilarious? I’ve only seen him do serious stuff.
When Jack finally got noticed for singing a Beatles song rather than one of his own compositions, he was approached by Ed Sheeran. Sheeran introduced Jack to his cutthroat business manager Debra Hammer (Kate McKinnon) who proceeded to market Jack to the hilt with dollar signs in her eyes all the while.
Jack’s rise to fame was swift. He lost Ellie only to realize he wanted her. He felt guilty and conflicted. Then two strangers – the Russian Stranger (Justin Edwards) and the Liverpool Stranger (Sarah Lancashire) hold up plastic yellow submarines at a press conference. The Liverpool Stranger asked him who his favorite was – Paul, John, George, or Ringo. He thinks he’s sunk, but when he talks to them in private it isn’t that way. In fact, they lead him to someone very important.
I actually went to see the film because Sarah Lancashire’s in it. She had a small part but it was worth the wait. And it was a wonderful film, so thanks to Sarah for getting me there.
I asked myself what was more important – the songs or The Beatles themselves? Could the music alone make someone famous? Could the charisma and personas of The Beatles alone make them famous? After all, when The Beatles began they were competing with folks like Perry Como. They were new. Exciting. Today The Beatles would be competing with acts like Ed Sheeran, who played himself in Yesterday.
I’ve heard “Let it Be” sung by The Beatles all my life and I never actually understood what it was about until I heard Lucy Kaplansky sing it. Was it the song, or the musicians, the right moment, or what?
Why they became famous doesn’t matter, however, because everyone knows and loves The Beatles. Everyone will probably love this movie, too. Danny Boyle directed this feel-good magic.
Watch the Trailer
Have you seen Yesterday? What did you think of it?