Summary: After a power outage, everything about the Beatles disappears.
There’s a weird trend of movies driven by classic rock. Yesterday is the first one that’s not really a biopic. Part fantasy, part musical, it is simply a love story with the music of the Beatles in the background. There’s enough of the catalog in there to make you nod and “Aw!” over the songs of Paul, John, Ringo, and George, but it doesn’t beat you over the head with how the songs came to be. (You can just watch Paul McCartney’s Carpool Karaoke if you want that. It’s actually pretty fantastic.)
I appreciate Yesterday for its fantasy elements and What If? take, but really the key here is in the lead. Newcomer Himesh Patel has voice that is good enough to not make you long for the originals too much. My only gripe is that I wish Lily James had a supporting role where she wasn’t all doe-eyed over the male lead. She’s quirky, she’s expressive, she’s engaging- I’d like to see her play a non-love interest for a change. That aside, they have good chemistry.
I forget how much I like Danny Boyle. I’ve been hit-or-miss with his work (more on the hit side), and since he was removed from James Bond I’ve been trying to make more time for his work- he’s got such an interesting take on sound and visuals. Like he makes it a point to show static instead of just playing the noise to try and get the audience into how it might feel in that setting. He’s not his Boyle-est here, but there’s enough of it to stand out.
This movie is that it moves along quickly and slowly at the same time. There are certain songs played that we know are at the top of the Beatle’s quality, but it’s taken at face value in the movie and not genuinely felt as if the world is coming to the recognition. But the love story is sweet, the voices are good, and Hizdar zo Loraq is a stoner- it was entertaining from pretty much start to finish.