Directed by: Danny Boyle
Starring: Himesh Patel, Lily James
Rating: 3 stars
By: Armin Prinsloo
I must begin this review with a disclaimer and confess that my opinions on the film are completely biased. As a long-time, passionate Beatles fan, I was won over by the announcement of the film alone, and would have loved it even if it was a piece of trash.
Danny Boyle’s Yesterday is refreshingly unlike its recent relatives, Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman, for the simple fact that it doesn’t centre around the band’s members at all. Instead, its main character is Jack Malick, a modern day struggling singer-songwriter, who, after a near-fatal accident, wakes up in a world where the Beatles never existed, and he is
the only person who remembers them. This gives him the opportunity to pass their songs off as his own, thrusting him into worldwide stardom.
Whether you are a hardcore Beatles fanatic or among the uninitiated minority doesn’t matter, once it’s over, the film will make you want to open your Apple Music and download the entire Beatles anthology. Apart from the magic of the songs in the movie, there is Himesh Patel’s performance, lighting up the world with his sweet, Paul-McCartney-like voice. In one of the best scenes in the movie, Jack is challenged to a songwriting competition by Ed Sheeran, in which they each have ten minutes to write and perform an original song.
Drawing from the deep well that is the Beatles catalog, Jack stumps Ed with a delicate rendition of The Long and Winding Road that will make you forget about your popcorn for a minute and leave you in mesmerised silence.
Despite all the magic it contains, the film is not perfect. It seems as though the writers did not know where to take their compelling fantasy-like concept, causing the film to meander in the second half. Like Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman, the music does carry the film somewhat, but there is still much to enjoy in the experience. If you are in the mood for an
easy, fun movie viewing, Yesterday is the one for you.
However, if you want to watch a great movie this week, step into the Cinema 2 and watch Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece, Taxi Driver.