It was a genuine pleasure finding a film that not only had a happy ending but didn't spoil it all by making it a 'dream' or, by bringing the Beatles back.
In this current age of cinema, it’s hard to fathom a film that doesn’t aim to put out multiple sequels and spin off movies; The Avengers, The Matrix or the revamped Star Trek films, these all look to the bigger picture about where they can go next. Yesterday will not have a sequel nor does it require one, this single film has done what it set out to do and made the world fall in love with the Beatles once again. I’m no fan of Danny Boyle and when looking at his directorial list, can only choose 28 Days and Sunshine as films that I genuinely enjoyed. This will no doubt upet fans of Trainspotting or Slumdog Millionaire but for me these films really did nothing.
Firstly, wow! Who’d have thought young Tamwar from Eastenders (aka Himesh Patel) had this voice in him? His singing was a joy to listen to bringing what would be considered the most popular Beatles songs back to life for a new generation of people. The song choice, readily available online as the soundtrack or track listing, kept it simple – stick with the Beatles most popular hits and throw in a couple curve balls when least expected. Himesh plays the role beautifully, you can’t help but like his character from the start.
The story is simple, the world experiences a black out resulting in Jack (Himesh) being knocked off his bike by a bus. As he wakes up in hospital he slowly comes to the realisation that the Beatles have never existed. With this new found knowledge he starts a new career peddling the songs of John, Paul, George and Ringo as his own.
The rest of the cast fit the bill perfectly, Lily James (Cinderella, Baby Driver) plays the love interest without making you feel ‘eurgh, not another love story’. Her character was not only written well but they gave her a backbone, there’s no ‘boo hoo look at me’ but instead ‘I’m free to make my own choices even after making mistakes’. Joel Fry (10,000 BC, Game of Thrones) takes on a role more akin to his stint in Trollied than to Game of Thrones but entertains the audience as expected but again, his role isn’t over-comedic.
I make no attempt to hide my dislike of Ed Sheeran. I don’t like his music and any interview I’ve seen of him leaves me thinking ‘you smug git’. In no way does he ruin the film but his initial wooden acting makes you think ‘please, if there is a god, give him less lines as the film goes on’. He does make a few more appearances and they do give him more lines – all I can say is that he does get better.
It would have been incredibly easy for Danny Boyle to make the world collapse around the lead character and leave him broken at the end, I’m glad to say that this doesn’t happen. Instead he chooses to very clever twists which, as someone who prides himself on guessing what will happen in a film, didn’t see coming. Is it the film of the year for me? Very likely. Will I see it again? Absolutely! It was a genuine pleasure finding a film that not only had a happy ending but didn’t spoil it all by making it a ‘dream’ or, by bringing the Beatles back.