Yesterday (2019) - USA
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
Imagine a world without “The Beatles” and their time-lasting songs that sweep a generation for the ages. Imagine you woke up one day after an accident, where only you know all the “Beatles” songs and existence plus the fact that you are a down and out struggling singing artist. Such is the fascinating premises that “Yesterday” plays with through succinct character development and a beautifully layered story filled with a touch reality and fiction. Director Danny Boyle manages to make the film immensely heartfelt and constantly entertaining to tell a true musical tale.
Himesh Patel is an easy choice and down to earth lead that is almost impossible to dislike. Patel shows good charisma and confidence to carry the film along with excellent chemistry with long time love interest played by the ever supportive Lily James. We get an interesting cameo by Ed Sheeran playing himself and provide the film one of its genius moment when he completes with Patel to come up with an original song, only to lose to the “Beatles”. Kate McKinnon plays the ruthless and calculating manager whose only mind is to win and succeed in the ultra commercial musical world.
All in all, “Yesterday” is full of character, story and romance that is likely to make you fall in love of “Beatles” classic songs all over again. We get terrific performances from the diverse cast all round and by the time we reached the climax of a home coming concert of sorts, Patel grew as a character and through fame and success, he found his inner strength to face up to the truth and his heart. Whilst, it’s far from Boyle’s best works, this is easily a good film to watch.
I rated it 8/10