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  • Writer's pictureBruce Klein

Yesterday:You’ll Love It, Yah, Yah, Yah

In Yesterday Jack Malick (Himesh Patel) a young, down and out singer/song writer, is about to call it quits. This troubles his forever friend and manager Ellie (Lily James). Then out of nowhere, the world forgot who the Beatles are except for Jack. Jack appears on a local TV show where his recordings of Beatles songs are played. He soon comes to the attention of a famous musician who invites him to be his opening act. By playing Beatles songs, Jack is off and running and almost conquers the world. But in the process, he throws his manager and friends to the side. He leaves Ellie although he misses her. He needs to resolve his reincarnated career and his feelings for Ellie.

Jack goes through all the steps of launching an exceptionally promising career. It seems as if the whole world is behind him. Rocky (Joel Fry), Jack’s friend, takes the journey with him as a roadie. He becomes Jack’s support. Some days it is one appointment after another. Jack believes he is a crusader for the music.

The movie skips and hops to the end. Jack goes to Los Angeles on business and is overwhelmed. His new manager is Deborah hilariously played by Kate McKinnon. Deborah makes Jack toe the line so she makes money. Deborah wants to restyle Jack’s appearance. She wants to change his look and needs him to be on schedule. As soon as she approaches Jack, she greases the skids for a fun ride. Jack follows her lead. He never seems totally sure if he just has a mission to get the Beatles music out there or is this his chance at the success that never came.

Yesterday is a happy, joyful movie. It’s just as sunny as the Beatles’ songs. It’s amazing how the movie teases out a whole story from Jack being almost the last person on earth to know who the Beatles were. It’s fascinating how he handles the situation. Of course, he is a singer/guitar player which allows him to drive his ambitions. His friends and parents stand behind him. Mom and Dad have no clue why he becomes popular but are happy for his success.

The movie is a one-line joke that starts what if….? It makes for a quirky film especially when other things are missing from the “new” world. Jack meets up with the last Beatle, and it’s not clear that he remembers being a Beatle.

The audience knows it’s a one joke setup but wants to play along and go all the way to the end. The romance between Jack and Ellie is so sweet we want to see that through as well. If you can’t sign up for both of these, the movie is going to be a drag. If you don’t sign up for one or the other, the music will take you only so far.

Watching Yesterday is as if the Beatles have returned to life. They have come again. In the picture, it’s the first time they landed which is exciting within itself but not enough to get through the movie without attaching yourself to the characters. This movie is for all children 12 and over. Go in with a sense of fun and you will leave that way.


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