As modern day humans, we often wonder what life would be like without electricity or the Internet, but what if The Beatles never existed? The Beatles are one of the most (if not the most) well known bands in the world. With 20 number-one hit singles on the Billboard charts during their run, they left their mark on the world and their music continues to touch lives today. In the film Yesterday, the main character, Jack Malik, is a struggling musician. One might be able to make the comparison that his career is kind of like Phoebe’s in Friends with the only difference being that Jack is actually good. (Sorry, Phoebe.)
One night, Jack is biking home after one of his gigs and a phenomenon happens when the whole world loses power for a span of a few seconds. During this time, Jack gets hit by a bus, but he manages to survive. When Jack finally comes to in the hospital, he makes a reference to The Beatles song “When I’m 64” to his friend, Ellie, but she doesn’t get it. Fast forward a few days and Jack is meeting up with some friends, when they ask him to sing them a song. He played The Beatles song “Yesterday”, but none of them admit to having heard of it or The Beatles before. Jack is dumbfounded by this and comes to the realization that nobody remembers The Beatles because they never existed. He even Googled it! (In times of despair, Google is always there.) Now Jack is faced with the dilemma, does he continue living his life of playing at small venues where only his friends come to see him or does he use The Beatles songs to help him become an instant superstar? What would you do?
I really enjoyed the concept of this film and it made me realize just how big of an impact The Beatles had on society. I also remembered a few of their songs that I had forgotten and it made me long to jam out to them. (I actually did that on the whole ride home from Rice Lake.)
The plot of this story was fairly believable and made me think about what I would do if I were in Jack’s shoes. It made me think about Hot Tub Time Machine in some aspects as one of the characters, Nick Webber, gave way to using artists songs from the future inorder to elevate his career back in the 80s. The filming style of this movie was fairly standard, but I think there were a couple of times when Director Danny Boyle might have just tilted the camera just for the sake of tilting the camera. They weren’t necessary, but maybe they were implemented to show that things were starting to look up for Jack. (But then again, I could be reading too much into this.)
There were some fun cameos in this film as well, the most notable one being Ed Sheeran. Ed did pretty well for himself in his acting debut. I’m going to be honest and say I was a little skeptical at first, but as more scenes included Ed, the more it grew on me. I’m not expecting to see Ed be the lead role in a revamp of Die Hard anytime soon, but I could see him making cameos in future films to come.
Overall, I would say this was a great movie. It wasn’t a predictable movie where one could see everything coming and it told a unique story interwoven with Beatles tunes that make you want to dance in your theater chair. If you’re a Beatles fan, there’s no reason for you not to go see this movie. If you’re not a Beatles fan, you should still see this movie for the sake of music. This film is like Once and Begin Again with The Beatles reminding you of all that is good in the world. Yesterday will leave you wondering what you would do if you were the only one to remember something. Would you pursue that temptation or would you just let it be? (Ah, you see what I did there? Good. Good.)