In a cinematic world currently churning out remakes and sequels at a frightening rate the premise of Yesterday is pleasingly original: What would the world be like without The Beatles?
The sad and inconceivable reality is that there are many people who have never heard of the Beatles and who are completely oblivious to just how much their songs impacted and define the history of music. But even for these people there is hope in the form of Yesterday.
Directed by Danny Boyle Yesterday is a love story but not by the conventional cinematic definition. While romance does bloom between the two main characters it isn’t the love story of the film. Instead it’s the love story of The Beatles and their incomparable music. If you are a Beatles fan, which you should be, this will be a delightfully nostalgic homage and a reminder, if needed, of just how brilliant John, Paul, George, and Ringo truly were.
But nostalgia withstanding and despite the main characters, played by Himesh Patel and Lily James, having enough chemistry to deliver acceptable performances Yesterday could and should have been more. It never quite reaches that magic moment and feels a bit small in sum. There is no mistaking though that it has, easily, one of the best soundtracks of all. Underscored by legendary Beatles tunes from Hey Jude to Here Comes The Sun to Help! it is impossible to not sing along to the fabulously timeless songs.
Yesterday has its enjoyable moments but unfortunately flatlines as result of a superficial script and a failure to expand on the premise by answering its own question of what a Beatles-less world would be like. But if you don’t take the story too seriously you will find an enjoyable celebration of some of the greatest music the world has ever heard.