Tuesday, October 15, 2019

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Yesterday brings the Beatles back today


Director: Danny Boyle

Writers: Jack Barth (story by),

Richard Curtis (screenplay)

Starring: Himesh Patel, Lily

James, Sophia Di Martino

In a world-wide black out, Jack Malik, played by Himesh Patel, is a down and out musician who quit his position as a teacher to follow his musical career at the urging of his life-long friend, fellow teacher and music manager, Ellie Appleton, played by Lily James.

The film flashes the characters into a dimension without the Beatles or Coke. Throughout the movie, Patel learns about what no longer exists in this alternate dimension in which most things are the same, but a wealth of inventions are erased from the world.

Malik takes the opportunity to sing the songs he can remember from the Beatles for the unfortunate masses who get Malikmania rather than Beatlemania.

Director Danny Boyle said he sees his film as a tribute to the Beatles and their disappearance into the past.

“Boyle also described the film as a ‘love letter’ to the Beatles: ‘It’s a love story really, but within it is a love letter to their music, though an unusual prism obviously: their disappearance’” wrote Flora Carr in a RadioTimes.com story.

For people who love the Beatles, who can imagine what a world in which they had not made it in the music business may be like, and who do not mind a cheesy love story in the mix, Yesterday is a light-hearted movie worth the watch.

With witty writing, understated, quirky and likeable characters, and many of the best Beatles’ songs, the film works to leave the viewer humming one of their own favorite songs, or talking about what should have been included but was not.

One scene to look for is the songwriting battle between Ed Sheeran, playing himself, and Frank to see who is the better songwriter — Malik offering a Beatles’ classic or Sheeran’s impromptu original?

Even the minor characters are enjoyable, acting as foils to their main character counterparts, and providing an even more comical element to the subtle humor of the movie.

Beatles fans may be thrilled or annoyed, depending on the depth of your Beatlemania, but there are certainly aspects of the film that are inarguably delightful. Do check it out.

According to Ultimate Classic Rock.com (UCR), Yesterday brought in $24.7 million, in its first weekend, “which put it close to recouping its production budget of $26 million.”

However, most movies that do not bring in twice what they cost are considered a flop.

“Rights to the catalog of John, Paul, George and Ringo’s greatest hits don’t come cheap, so Universal is hoping Yesterday has a long and winding road in theaters. … Yesterday appealed to an older female audience. Women represented 56 percent of ticket buyers, while 75 percent of moviegoers were over the age of 25. It carries an A-CinemaScore,” UCR reported, referencing Variety.

Hopefully, Yesterday becomes one of those cult classics that remind us of just how amazing the Beatles were and still are.