Published On: Fri, Jun 28th, 2019

‘Yesterday’ sparks some Beatlemania even though the story falls a bit short

Opening June 28, 2019, Yesterday serves its purpose of introducing new audiences to the timeless music of the Beatles.  Let’s hope that’s the purpose, because that’s sort of the only thing really going for it.  Am I being a little harsh? Let’s break it down a bit.

Unless you’re watching a film that’s packed with special effects, the story itself is usually a pretty big deal.  In Yesterday, we follow the story of young Jack Malik (played by Himesh Patel) who has had no luck at all as a musician/songwriter.  During a completely unexplained global black-out (yes, that’s one of the issues I have with the story), Jack is thrown from his bike when a bus hits him.  He awakens to a world where no one remembers the Beatles.

He goes on a frenzied internet search confirming that John, Paul, George, and Ringo never “came together” to form the Fab Four.  With that knowledge, he cautiously begins performing their most famous songs and passing them off as his own original works. Freaky Friday and 13 Going On 30 didn’t explain their magical experience warps either, but this oddity could have used a bit of an explanation since there’s no magical wish involved and it impacts more than just one element.  It turns out that there are several other pop culture icons that are erased from existence as well.  

By the way, there’s also a love story sprinkled into the mix, but that story line feels drawn out with the characters just staring at one another for very long pauses unsure of what to say in the moment.  When the characters finally “come together” (I know….shameless Beatles reference), reality flips back to normal and the Beatles return to our existence. Oh… no… they never come back. They get together, time continues moving forward, and the Beatles never come back!  So why did they ever disappear at all?!?!?! I have no clue. Let’s move on from the story before I start spilling some cute little spoilers.

The actors did a good job.  Patel and Lily James (of Mamma Mia 2) have believable chemistry and make a cute couple.  Ed Sheeran (playing himself) is a teeny bit stiff, but he does a pretty good job considering the great amount of screen time he is given without any claim to being an actor.  Kate McKinnon is an unlikely casting as the Hollywood manager who is incredibly dry, money-hungry, and judgmental. Most of her comedic lines almost got right past me since she delivered them so directly and almost crass.  

So, if the story and the acting aren’t anything to write home about, why go see it?  Like I said at the beginning…the music!!! I love the Beatles songs and I’ve thoroughly exposed my children to these classic songs from a simpler time.   I couldn’t help but sing along throughout the film. If Yesterday sparks a bit of Beatlemania for younger audiences, that would be a wonderful thing!   As the film points out, the world is simply a better place with Beatles music in it.

Yesterday receives 6 out of 10 stars

himesh patel in Yesterday

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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