Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Yesterday - A movie review (with spoilers!)


Like many of you, I saw the highly anticipated movie Yesterday.    The idea behind the film is interesting.   Something happens (no one really knows what), and several things that are part of our culture are no longer remembered by anyone but one guy named Jack.    Things such as cigarettes, Coca-Cola, Harry Potter, and, of course, The Beatles were all unknown.    Honestly, the world Jack wakes up to is literally my version of Hell -- no Diet Coke or Beatles?   No, thank you.

First and foremost, this is not a Beatles film.   It is a romantic comedy.    It is the typical story of a guy who has the woman of his dreams right in front of him and doesn't realize it until it is too late.  Then said guy does whatever it takes to get the girl.    I think any major band could have been the focus, and the story would haven't have changed.

However, The Beatles are the focus, and it is the Beatles' music that made this film so enjoyable for so many people.    Actor Himesh Patel performs all of The Beatles music himself in the film.  He does a good job keeping the songs close to the originals.    Since he is apparently the only person who remembers the Beatles, his character, Jack, "writes" all of The Beatle's songs and becomes famous because of his amazing songwriting.    The idea behind this is that The Beatles' songs are so amazingly good that it doesn't matter who is performing them.   They will always be hit songs.   Is this true?    I can see some of the songs being loved by the masses even if they aren't sung by The Beatles, but all of the songs?    Isn't part of what made the Beatles so good was the harmonies and musical abilities of the four band members?   Could one person and a guitar REALLY make all of the songs popular?

As the movie goes along, we discover that Jack isn't the only person who remembers The Beatles.  There are two others out there!   They meet Jack, and instead of being mad that he is taking credit and making money from the songs, they are delighted that he is sharing the music with others.   You later see them dancing in Sgt. Pepper jackets (which makes no sense to me at all...but it is a fantasy film).

The scene that no one wants to talk about because they don't want to spoil the film happens towards the end of the film.    The two others did some digging and gave Jack an address to a man living on a beach.   The man was none other than John Lennon.    When you see "John" open the door, it is a little shocking.   The actor playing him DOES look like what we think John might have looked like if he were still alive in 2019.    The hair, the nose, the glasses, the voice.    Many fans have said this was a very emotional scene.   It makes you think about how John should still be alive, and if he wasn't famous, he wouldn't have moved to New York, and he wouldn't have been murdered.    This John sits on a boat named Imagine and gives advice to Jack.  Advice that we like to think John would have given him if he were alive today.    It was a poignant part of the film, but it also gave me a creepy feeling. 

One thing fans are going to like is all the little Beatle-isms sprinkled throughout the film.   The album cover is a dead ringer for the famous Paul McCartney selfie from when he was a teenager.   As a fan, there are jokes in the film that others might not catch.   I appreciated the nod to us because the filmmakers had to realize that one of their main demographics was the Beatles fan community.

I went with some non-Beatle people to see the film, and they enjoyed it.   It is a nice film.  Very predictable plot, but still a nice little film.    It isn't going to be my all-time favorite movie, but I would watch it again.

There is also a soundtrack now available if anyone is interested.


  1. Having watched the film and liked it you would think that there was only one songwriter in the Beatles. Almost all were paul songs with the others barely getting a mention. Good film though but the Beatles were four and not paul and his backing band.

    1. A predictable anti-Paul comment. Help (pivotal to the plot), In My Life, the Strawberry Fields sequence were all dealt with in detail, also George's Here Comes the Sun and Something. But my main issue was with the John cameo (his death coming ten years after the Beatles split). Well, the film forgot that George also died and Ringo was virtually invisible throughout. This became yet another movie about John Lennon, of which there have already been several. Perhaps you need to see it again.

  2. The movie was emphasizing their music not their personalities so that is why Ringo was not mentioned as he barely wrote for the group. He visited John because the two people had his address. More touching to see a living John, I think was their point. (MarkZapp)

  3. The greatest Beatles scene in ANY movie:

  4. True, John was the emphasis towards the end of the movie but I beleive it had to do more with the sudden and tragic way that he died that brings up the question "what if...". Sadly, George's death was more a preparation for dying since being diagnosed with cancer.

  5. Cigarettes and coca cola didn't exist in that world either. In that case, it would have been just as unlikely for George to die from a smoking related death. Why would the two fans (one from Russia) have only John's address and living in a "cottage by the sea" nowhere near Liverpool? It was emotionally manipulative, and if people baulk at a few more snippets of Paul's songs to make up for it, then that's pretty sad. Their personalities MADE the music and the uncharismatic lead did little to capture that magic in their songs. An ok rom com, totally illogical, and the Beatles deserve better.

  6. After viewing the trailer, I have no desire to see this film. A world without Beatles? I want no part of it.

  7. John living in a cottage by the sea proves that whoever wrote that part is a Beatle fan and well versed with them. In 1970 during the Rolling Stone interview ( Lennon Remembers ) John stated something exactly like that. He saw himself as an old man living by the sea maybe off the coast of Ireland.......

  8. only a movie mates

  9. I personally didn't think the voice of the actor playing John fit very well! It was too high pitch in my opinion. I think John's voice would have gotten more like how Paul Mccartney's voice sounds now. Like a rougher more deepish sounding voice.