Yesterday: review by @Kush_Hayes
As mentioned in the newest episode of The Kush Hayes Show, (Ep 23), my knowledge of ground breaking band from the UK in the 1960s known as The Beatles is anorexic. Growing up I was around many hippies turned yuppies who still held on to their record collections and exposed their kids to it. I always felt like my peers were just parroting their parents insistance. I remember being exposed to The Yellow Submarine before being ten and it being one of the first Animated movies that didn't click with me. That irritated me with its out of date pop culture references and British slang an American adolescent wouldn't necessarily pick up. When I finally crossed over into adulthood, some of those songs from their later years when they were experimenting with their sound and psychedelics, would imprint themselves onto me. I would find one of their many sounds I could appreciate, but never adopt.
The Beatles influence are a big part of this movie directed by Danny Boyle and written by Richard Curtis, but they are not the whole story. Our story begins with a down on his luck musician, Jack, whose biggest fan, Ellie, is his manager/roadie who obviously should have been his girlfriend ten years back. She does a decent job on getting a village no-body booked around on their European island. A big problem is that the village nobody is unappreciative and doesnt get that his own material is just below standard. And as with many artists who hit a wall, and hit a wall, and keep hitting that wall, decides to give up. And after a normal panic attack and part time hissy-fit, he hops on his bike only to be hit by a bus just as a power surge affects the entire world for a small window of 12 seconds.
While its hinted or suggested that the Global Power Surge is caused by solar flares, the only thing that is known is that for some reason (most of) the world has forgotten about The Beatles. “For Some Reason” Jack still remembers. And upon getting out of the hospital, he starts strumming along, just messing around, and plays Yesterday for his friends, who are blown away by how good the song is compared to his normal stuff.
Some fun beats and a google search and we then discover what we have already mentioned multiple times now. We will also discover throughout the film that other things are missing from the world as well. However it is also when our man kicks into action and starts planning out how to recreate The Beatles entire catalog. For the sake of the movie we have to take into account that hes a super fan and as a musician, he would be able to duplicate it. Its an interesting conflict we visit maybe one too many times. The problem of needing to come up with a song that he cant remember how the lyrics go, definitely breaks the “Rule of Three” in this movie.
As I said, only “Most Of” the world has forgotten about The Beatles, and because Jack begins to rise to stardom because of it, people that do still remember The Beatles start approaching Jack. This of course scares Jack, as well as gives him a few “case of the guilties” for taking The Beatles work and claiming them as his own.
The cast in this is fantastic. I was unfamiliar with Hamish Patel before this movie. I love his portrayal of Jack, I love the wave of conflict he takes the character. I enjoy hearing his voice, which honestly is a weird thing for me to say. I enjoyed watching him perform in front of the crowds he performed in. In the junket material I was given, he performs before a live crowd at Wembley Stadium. The live performances are a lot of fun to watch on the big screen.
I am surprised by how many things Ive seen Lily James in as well as appreciated her performances in them, but am only now really taking notice of her. Her performance as Jacks friend/manager/love interest is beautiful, sad, awkward, charming. You root for her throughout the movie. You are slightly bummed out when she decides to not tour with him because of normal obligations. You are happy for her when she displays self respect for herself when she doesnt put up with Jacks nonsense, regardless of what level of fame he has or doesnt. You are heart broken for her when upon pouring her heart out to him, he decides to still walk away.
I havent seen everything Danny Boyle has directed, but everything of his that I have seen is either “Good” or “Great”. I feel like this might be my favorite movie of his, just succeeding 28 Days Later. Of course, he has had the other movies like Trainspotting, 127 Hours, and Slumdog Millionaire where the material was so good, but also so horrifying that “I dont want to revisit those stories”. Boyle has a lot of fun with the scenes and as mentioned above, with the scenes of Jack trying to recount how a songs lyrics actually go, we see a visual execution of how bad Jack is misinterpreting the lyric.
Richard Curtis is the lead writer of this story and takes an interesting idea and expands on that. The guy who created the character Mr Bean, goes to untapped levels of depth in just the premise of this new world after the power surge, making you want to explore more about the history of it. One example is, because The Beatles were never a thing, they never endorsed Coca-Cola, who now never became a thing and now you can only find Pepsi. It makes you want to know what it was that kept The Beatles from existing.
I wish this movie was ten to fifteen minutes shorter. I wish we either didnt have the James Cordon scene at all, or had some resolution to what happened in the scene. And no disrespect to Mr Cordon, his scene felt the most unbelievable of everything that happens in the movie - its the result of weird writing or weird editing. I wish James Frys scene with Ed Sheeran on the plane never happened, and only because it makes Frys character come off as a douchebag, and a buffoon, however it was the most believable scene of the movie. These are my only negatives.
I loved this movie. I think it might be my favorite movie of the year. While we are only at the middle of the 2019, its definitely contending with Rocketman for best movie of the year. Its weird to think it wasnt a thing before, but NOW I want to know more about The Beatles. I look forward to seeing this in the theater a few more times if possible.