Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) is a struggling singer/songwriter. Ellie (Lily James), his best friend/manager does her best to book him for gigs that will get him in front of decent audiences. Unfortunately, his performances are usually background noise for uninterested people. After deciding to give up on his dream, he is in an accident on his way home from his last gig.
When he wakes up in the hospital, he he discovers that no one remembers the Beatles or their music. It’s as if they never existed. He decides to pass off their songs as his own. The songs become so popular, Ed Sheeran asks him to be the opening act on his tour. He is eventually signed to a record deal and his popularity begins to soar.
Jack’s new found fame has a cost, though. On top of the mounting guilt about pretending to have written so many iconic songs, he must make some difficult decisions.
If you love the Beatles, Yesterday is probably right up your alley.
Himesh Patel stars as Jack, who so badly wants to be a singer, he is willing to do anything to get his career kick-started. Not only is Patel’s character likable, he is incredibly talented. In case you were wondering, Patel does actually sing the songs in the movie, and he does an amazing job. Lily James plays Jack’s best friend Ellie, the one person who believes in him more than anyone else. She wants him to realize his dream as much as he does. James brings her typical sweetness and charm to the film. To really accentuate the comedy side of this rom-com, Kate McKinnon is brought in as the manager at a big label recording company. She is more toned down than we’ve come to expect from her. It would have been easy to play up her talents and have her steal the movie. Instead, they went a bit more subtle with her, allowing the other characters a chance to shine.
Thankfully, it seems someone has come up with an original story in a world that seems dominated with sequels and remakes. While we never really get an explanation for what caused certain things from popular culture, including the Beatles, disappear from history, or why Jack is able to remember them, the concept is an interesting one. The film touches on the ethics of introducing the world to such important works of art while passing them off as your own. It gives the film a bit of depth without getting too deep with it. It doesn’t hurt that the film centers around an awesome soundtrack.
Now that you’ve taken the kids to see Toy Story 4, it’s time for you to sit back and enjoy a film that lets you relive the greatest hits of one of the biggest bands to hit the music scene. Yesterday is a fun film that doesn’t require much thought – in a good way – and lets you just go along for the ride. Watch it in the theater to take advantage of their sound systems that make the music sound that much better.