“Yesterday” stars Himesh Patel, Lily James, Kate McKinnon, and Ed Sheeran. Released on June 28, 2019, the film is about a struggling musician who finds himself in a world where he’s the only person who remembers the Beatles.
The film is directed by Danny Boyle, who also directed films such as “Trainspotting”, “28 Days Later”, “Slumdog Millionaire”, and “Steve Jobs”. The Beatles were always known as one of the most influential bands of all time, but what if there’s an alternate universe where people thought the Beatles were a bunch of bugs? This film has the answer, and it’s actually quite an interesting one. I’m not a die-hard Beatles fan like most people, but I was interested in this film for a couple of reasons. One of them is that it is helmed by Danny Boyle, who directed one of my favorite films of 2015, “Steve Jobs”. Another reason is the concept, which is similar to “It’s a Wonderful Life”, but with the Beatles. I mean, seriously, can you imagine a world without the Beatles? That would be a messed up world to live in right now. Fortunately for us, the film looks like it is having some sort of fun with its concept, but does that mean it’s worth watching? Yes, it does.
Let’s talk about the story for a little bit. The film does involve a world where the Beatles are nonexistent, but the main core of the story is the importance of love over fame. Yes, the film is obviously a romantic comedy, and it does follow a similar formula like the other rom-coms. However, it’s something that I didn’t mind at all because it never lost sight at having a bit of fun with its weird concept as well as delivering a simplistic feel-good experience for everyone who grew up with the Beatles. Himesh Patel made his feature film debut as Jack, the main character in the film. I haven’t heard that much about him until I found out that he starred in the BBC soap opera “EastEnders”. For those who haven’t heard of that show, you’re not alone. Anyway, his first impression onscreen was nothing but wonderful. Not just because of his thoughtful performance, but also because of his singing. You read that right, Patel is also a singer. It’s something that you have to see to believe. Lily James was also talented in her role as Ellie, Jack’s best friend, and her chemistry with Patel had the right amount of sweetness to make me care for them, even though I already knew how it’s going to turn out. I also have to admit that Ed Sheeran was pretty entertaining as the film’s version of himself. It may seem like he’s just a cameo, but trust me, it’s not. He’s one of the elements that are important to the story, and in my opinion, it was fun to witness. Danny Boyle had plenty of shoes to fill when it comes to something like this, and he pulled it off with style. His bizarre vision and the camera angles clashed really well with the film’s light-hearted tone and musical sequences. If I had to point out at least one more thing that could’ve been better in my opinion, it would have to be the film's first act. I think if they expand on Jack’s struggles a little more before he winds up in the Beatles-less universe, it would make us relate to him a bit more.
Overall, “Yesterday” is a simple, yet effective, rom-com that will fill everyone’s hearts with Beatles mania. It’s not the best film I’ve seen from Boyle (that honor still belongs to “Steve Jobs”), but he still did a nice job at making the film fun and heartwarming for his audience. They could’ve changed a couple of things to make the film a bit more special, such as the first act. Nevertheless, it’s a happy-go-lucky film that I wouldn’t mind watching again in the near future. I would gladly recommend this one to those who are familiar with the Beatles as well as those who are in need of a feel-good film this summer.