Small Screen Reviews
What’s It About?
After a random global electrical storm, The Beatles and all their associated music is wiped from the collective conscious. Except for Jack, a wannabe musician, who by complete (mis)fortunate involving a bus, remembers all the songs.
Who’s In It?
Himesh Patel (EastEnders, Damned)
Lily James (Cinderella, Baby Driver, & more recently Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again)
Other notables include:
Kate McInnon (SNL, Ghostbusters, & more recently The Spy Who Dumped Me)
Ed Sheeran (himself)
Director: Danny Boyle (The Beach, Trainspotting 1-2, 28 Days Later, Slumdog Millionaire)
A collaboration between Four Weddings and Love Actually’s Richard Curtis, and Trainspotting and 127 Hours’ Danny Boyle may seem like a strange one, and in truth it is. Curtis’ charming brand of quintessential Britishness, usually involving let’s say higher end Brits is a little at odds with Boyle’s rougher examples, but the two seem to combine brilliantly in Yesterday, as Jack Malik, very much a working class guy, finds his dream to make it big in the world of music is slipping away with a permanent life on the factory floor beckoning.
He is still backed by his best friend, biggest fan, and manager, though she may be somewhat blinkered as she is infatuated with him – even though he is somehow blissfully unaware. Then fate intervenes.
After a road traffic accident involving a bus, Jack is knocked out at the exact same time the world suffers an electrical storm which somehow wipes out all existence and memory of the Fab Four and their incredible music. Somehow, when Jack wakes up, he is the only person who can remember their music, so he plays it to the world and soon is given the credit for the brilliant tunes. What follows is an odd look at fame and morality in whether he should take the credit, as well as the usual fluffy Curtis romance, plus a stonking cameo from Ed Sheeran.
Himesh Patel gives a great lead performance with some wonderful renditions, while Lily James plays the lovable puppy with, unfortunately, little to play with. Kate McKinnon adds a bit of US spice, while Ed Sheeran probably steals the show with his cameo in what is overall an interesting but overextended concept, which generally follows predictable lines in what is a fairly weak plot. But the songs are, understandably cracking, and as with most Richard Curtis films, you can’t help but get sucked in.
In A Nutshell:
A limited plot is counterbalanced by some strong performances, cracking tunes and a warm gooey centre.
Release date: 04/11/2019
Certificate: 12 / 12A