*Whether it be “Let it Be,” “Hey Jude,” “Something,” “Revolution,” “Come Together,” “Get Back,” “All You Need Is Love,” “Penny Lane,” or “Yesterday”—the film’s namesake—they all add up to a fantastic trip down memory lane.
When I first read about the picture’s premise, I thought it was quite stupid. Who would ever buy that The Beatles did not exist, but an unknown performer was extolled for singing their songs?
After seeing the film, it was clear how this happened and why the world was clueless when it came to The Beatles. I was impressed that the movie moved into the sci-fi genre to explain the turn of events. During a global power outage, struggling singer/song writer Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) wakes up in an alternate universe that does not remember the Beatles.
Even Google doesn’t know who “The Beatles” are. Also, playing into the fantasy is the pecking order of late night TV. When TV appearances are being arranged for Jack, top on the list is Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert at the bottom. Fortunately, that isn’t true either. Ratings thus far for 2018/2018 show Colbert beating out Fallon.
Ed (“Shape of You”) Sheeran plays himself and ups the ante of “Yesterday.” He’s a natural and in some scenes, he actually overshadows Patel. The usually distasteful Kate McKinnon is Jack’s steel-hearted American agent, Debra. Childhood friend and now lovelorn pal, Ellie (Lily James), provides the romantic element. Best friend and roadie, Rocky (Joel Fry), is added comic relief.
Looking back, The Beatles have always acknowledged that black artists were among their influences. Among them being Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and The Marvelettes. In the early eighties Paul McCartney collaborated with Stevie Wonder for “Ebony and Ivory,” and Michael Jackson on “Say, Say, Say.”
“Yesterday,” directed by Danny Boyle, proves great music always stands the test of time.
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