All You Need Is Love
Imagine a world without one of the most famous bands of all time and their timeless songs. Yesterday is set in such a world. Richard Curtis and Danny Boyle have teamed up to give us a heart-warming rom-com, one that’s a little predictable at times but also full of funny little twists and touching moments.
The story starts with Jack Malik, a struggling musician who is just about ready to give up trying to make it in the music business, despite the support of his best friend and manager, Ellie. One night during a blackout, Jack gets hit by a bus and wakes up in a very different world. Everyone has forgotten The Beatles apart from him. It’s here that he realises that he may have struck gold and decides to play the famous songs to the world, claiming them as his own.
The concept of Yesterday is definitely an interesting and original idea. While the love story between Jack and Ellie is a little predictable, the world building and premise itself should be enough to see you through as you experience our musical history in a very different way. There’s some nice twists implemented too, especially given this new world has also forgotten Coca Cola and cigarettes.
As expected, the soundtrack is excellent and mainly made up of The Beatles’ songs, but that should please fans as well as non-fans alike. After all, The Beatles have given us some of the most unforgettable and beautiful songs that has ever been written. It’s also worth noting that Himesh Patel gives a really solid performance singing everyone’s famous tunes, breathing life into the film.
The acting from both Patel and Lilly James is pretty good too and while their chemistry is sometimes a bit hit and miss, they still manage to bring their love story to life, thanks to the clever script. The inclusion of Ed Sheeran, while comical at times, could have been reduced to just a few cameo moments though as his appearances feel forced and bring back bad memories of his role in Game of Thrones.
The movie also boasts a lot of glitzy exposition; every time Jack travels to a new place, the name of the place is written in big bold letters across the screen, adding some spark to the movie. There’s also an interesting montage where we see Jack looking at three giant screens around him, showing his songs becoming hits and his popularity growing, with the help of footage from media around the world. Visually, it’s a lovely moment and certainly adds some charm to the title.
Richard Curtis has written many romantic comedies in the past and in many ways Yesterday feels like the opposite of Notting Hill, where this time the male protagonist is the famous one in the love story. However, the overall themes of the film certainly shine through with some important messages – the importance of music and how it affects people is reflected in Jack’s dilemma. He’s torn between wanting to become famous, but also doing the right thing by sharing music with the world.
Yesterday is a heart-warming and fun musical ride. While the love story is a bit predictable, the movie manages to surprise with some fun twists and a well-paced script. For me though, one of the main messages of the movie is clear. Just like in The Beatles’ song, All you Need in Love, you can have money and fame but it is really the people in your life that matters the most. The world would certainly be a very sad place without it.