Verdict: A charming romantic comedy that also rekindles Beatles mania.
Imagine there were no Beatles…none of their legendary music either! That’s exactly what happens in the award-winning Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle’s Yesterday. Starring Himesh Patel in the lead role, the film has fans pumped to watch what happens when an aspiring musician performs the songs of the greatest band in history to a world that has never heard them.
What’s Yesterday About:
Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) is a struggling singer-songwriter who, even with the constant support of his manager and friend Ellie (Lily James), is on the verge of giving up on his musical career. However, everything changes when Jack finds himself in a unique situation following a freak bus accident during a mysterious worldwide blackout. He wakes up to a world where, among other pop culture phenomena, The Beatles seem to have disappeared from existence. Jack then begins to perform their legendary music as his own and becomes an overnight musical sensation after being discovered by the pop superstar Ed Sheeran. As his fame skyrockets, Jack is forced to confront the stress of superstardom, the conflict of living with the lie and what truly matters in his life.
Yesterday is not all about the music. Rather, it covers the themes of romance, the pressures of talent and fame, morality, and even the power of truly great music. Director Danny Boyle builds a sweet and charming story that is a definite nostalgia trip for the Beatles fans. At the same time, the film will even make you think about the value of pop culture and how its absence can leave a hole in history.
Putting all of these elements together is a great performance by lead actor Himesh Patel, who marks another noteworthy debut in a Boyle film. He does a great job of exploring the humanity of the intriguing premise and his musical abilities cannot be ignored. Patel gives us the legendary music of The Beatles in a whole new light. Lily James brings the love story into the plot. Sanjeev Bhaskar and Meera Syal as the parents are a cozy and light-hearted addition to the film. At the same time, Ed Sheeran’s extended cameo is a pleasant treat.
What Could’ve Been Better:
Writers Jack Barth and Richard Curtis intentionally leave the supernatural elements unexplored but that turns out to be beneficial since the film instead sustains its breezy and simplistic mood.
Why You Should Watch:
Yesterday is an inviting comedy, a charming romance, and at the same time a great musical experience. Watch it for a warm and nostalgic escape!