Yesterday: Movie Review
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John, Paul, George, and Ringo.
You probably already know where this is going. Most people, especially of a certain age, know these four lads' names. Such is not the case in director Danny Boyle's new film, Yesterday.
Four guys from Liverpool, England, turned the world upside down. Regarded as the most influential band of all time, The Beatles kickstarted a musical and cultural revolution, beginning with their 1962 debut single, "Love Me Do".
Love them the world did. The Beatles won 11 Grammy Awards. They had 21 No. 1 hit singles. They sold more than 600 million records. Search their songs on YouTube and you'll find all kinds of singers covering their songs (more than 3,000 have covered the song, "Yesterday", making it the most-covered song of all time). The Beatles and their music have been a part of pop culture since the 1960s. But, what if no one knew they ever existed -- save one man?
Jack Malik (Himesh Patel), a struggling singer/songwriter from a small coastal town in England, dreams of becoming a successful music artist. Problem is no one cares to listen to his original songs, save a few loyal friends -- especially his childhood best friend/manager, Ellie (Lily James). Everything changes when a freak accident causes the entire world to forget about The Beatles. When he realizes no one remembers them, he's faced with a choice that sets him down a very enticing and complicated path toward fame and fortune.
Yesterday is a beautiful movie marred by offensive language (including profane uses of God's name). Rated PG-13 for "suggestive content and language", this Universal Pictures film is inappropriate for young moviegoers. Scenes show characters drinking alcohol and discussing drug use. In one scene, a supporting character compares Ed Sheeran (who plays himself in the movie) to Malik, saying Sheeran's John the Baptist and Malik's the Messiah.
Following screenwriter Richard Curtis' lead, Danny Boyle and cast offer audiences a charming film in Yesterday. There's a certain depth to it, but it mostly feels fun, light, and sweet, like Curtis' Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant classic, Notting Hill. Will Yesterday become a classic as well? That remains to be seen.
What's evident at this early stage is that Patel is a gem of a lead (the BBC star sings live on the film). James is the perfect support. For those who choose to ignore the language, Yesterday is an enjoyable Beatles music-filled comedy. Still, caution is advised.
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