“…love is the answer, and you know that for sure…” – John Lennon
Review “Yesterday” 2019 116 minutes PG-13
Yesterday is, in the strictest sense, a fantasy film, taking the world as it is, changing one important thing, and then letting it go to see what happens. It isn’t one of those “it was all a dream” movies at the end. Instead, it’s a genuine and honest conversation about the joy of music and finding oneself.
The catalog of songs by the Fab Four are placed perfectly in this funny and heartwarming, slightly ‘alternate universe’ tale of Jack, played brilliantly by Himesh Patel, a struggling musician who, by virtue of a 12 second worldwide ‘black out’, finds himself in a world unknowing of John, Paul, George and Ringo or their iconic music legacy.
Jack slowly realizes a way for his music to be heard: performing Beatle songs that he loves and treasures soo much. His manager Ellie (Lily James) is astounded by this new found surge of songs that he ‘wrote’.
The tidal wave of attention, and demand for his appearances reaches the ears of an American record producer (hysterically played by SNL performer Kate McKinnon). McKinnon immediately puts Jack in the world spotlight, but he’s still apprehensive and somewhat nervous knowing that these songs aren’t his. Through funny and warm moments throughout the film, he figures out with Ellie how to cope with a world that’s never heard of the Beatles, but love his music.
The thread of The Beatles have been in almost every Richard Curtis screenplay (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love Actually, Notting Hill), and “Yesterday” is no exception. That Curtis has this attachment shouldn’t surprise. The affect the Beatles have had on the world is profound.
Being at an age wherein I was born when Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released, The Beatles were, and are, still the greatest band ever.
If you are between the ages of 38-68, this film will hit you in the heart most directly. I was expecting a comedic romp for 2 hours. I wasn’t expecting moments of laughter, fun, sadness, and ‘a very tender tear filled eyed moment’ in the film. But, mostly happy tears after watching the credits knowing (or hoping) that a new generation of young people will take a love and interest in “that little group from Liverpool” from soo many years ago.