“Yesterday” is a film that does not seem to fit easily into one common genre, but I suppose a romantic comedy with some fantasy sprinkled in would be an apt description. Danny Boyle is the director of this piece which was written by Richard Curtis. Himesh Patel plays struggling songwriter Jack Malik as he tries to break into the music scene with his own material, however he can’t seem to find his break as he strums and sings his way through the pub scene and local festivals. Lily James and Kate McKinnon are part of the cast as they are also joined by Ed Sheeran and James Corden. Robert Carlyle is also in this, but his role is a bit too much of a spoiler so I will hang on to that one.
Jack Malik is riding his bike one evening after a tough gig and is hit by a bus at the same time the world is inflicted with a brief global blackout. During that time, something most peculiar has happened. He finds that he is the only one who remembers the music of the Beatles along with other cultural institutions that seem to have been erased from the minds of those around him. Malik makes the dubious decision to release the music he remembers as his own, and the fame and fortune start to tear him away from the one woman who believed in him.
I am not terribly familiar with Himesh Patel, but he seemed to be a good fit for this part. He puts forth quite a bit of sincerity to his tortured indecision at times. He seemed to work well with Lily James. Kate McKinnon was a little over the top, but that’s sort of what she does. She was pretty good as the ruthless manager who steps in to bring Malik’s newfound talent into the limelight.
The movie does require a little patience at times, but it’s rather charming. It was fun to see Malik stumble on to all of these cultural icons that the rest of humanity have forgotten. In this movie, Coca-Cola never came to be, which is a shame. It has an appropriate amount of eccentric and obnoxious characters.
It’s a pretty quirky movie that hits all the rights emotional chords of nostalgia. The soundtrack was well chosen, although they’re basically celebrating the Beatles, so it’s hard to go wrong there. There was a bit Ed Sheeran music as well. Sheeran was there playing himself, so that was not much of a stretch. It was an amusing inclusion that worked well enough.
Fans of the Beatles should be largely pleased with this homage, but I think most movie goers will enjoy it. It turned out to be a pretty good if occasionally perplexing movie.