arts   |   pop culture   |   review

REVIEW: ‘Yesterday’ is the Beatles-themed feel-good movie of the summer



yesterday-xf7zyo-1

Yesterday is a film about a struggling musician who realizes he's the only person on Earth who can remember The Beatles. The film came out June 28. Movie Stills Database Buy Photos

“Yesterday,” directed by Danny Boyle, brings one of the most irresistible musical forces to film: The Beatles.

No, The Beatles aren’t actually in the movie, but the band's music is heavily incorporated. The plot revolves around a worldwide power outage causing the entire world to forget The Beatles

Only Jack Malik, played by Himesh Patel, remembers The Beatles. Malik, an unsuccessful singer-songwriter, takes many of The Beatles’ songs as his own and becomes a huge star.

Played wonderfully by Patel, Malik comes across as a loveable friend with the best of intentions at heart.

Another fabulous casting decision was Kate McKinnon as Malik’s new manager, Debra Hammer. McKinnon’s straightforward, insensitive jokes lend her usual "Saturday Night Live" charm to the film.

“Yesterday” also features a cameo from Ed Sheeran, who discovers Malik’s music and invites him to open for him on tour. Sheeran adds a quirky, fun sense of humor to the film, such as when he suggests changing the title of “Hey Jude” to ”Hey Dude.”

Of course, the highlight of the movie is the music. The Beatles revolutionized music, so it is exciting to have a movie that places such emphasis on their music.

The film is comedic and romantic, too. Malik and his old manager and closest friend, Ellie Appleton played by Lily James, have a pretty cliché relationship. The two have been long time best friends when feelings come to light making a delightful, foreseeable rom-com.

Malik performed classics such as, “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” “She Loves You” and “Help!” to name a few. Other songs were added throughout, for instance, “The Long and Winding Road” was chosen by Malik for a write-off with Sheeran. 

However, there were some questionable decisions made in the movie. One in particular was having John Lennon still alive.

Unfortunately, Lennon was brought to life on the big screen and was portrayed by Robert Carlyle. While Carlyle does a fine job as Lennon — he looks strikingly like him — something about the idea of Lennon reincarnated just didn’t sit right with me. 

Malik finds out Lennon is alive and seeks him out for advice on his love life. Because Lennon’s death was very shocking, and untimely, it felt wrong to have him back just to give Malik relationship advice. But I’m sure many warmly welcomed seeing Lennon back and dealing with normal-life topics. 

“Yesterday” doesn't offer much depth in its plot, but it doesn’t have to in order to be a charming movie. Some aspects don’t quite make the landing, but the music of The Beatles is what makes the movie, and that’s the point.

Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.

More in Arts



Comments powered by Disqus