By Marc Woodfork
A struggling singer-songwriter who can’t seem to catch a break is involved in a bus accident only to find when he wakes up in the hospital that arguably the greatest band in the history of music, The Beatles, never existed. Now he has a decision to make: Claim the songs as his own creations and use them to make himself rich and famous, or continue the path of insignificance and obscurity. What would you choose?
Director Danny Boyle poses a very difficult question in his new film “Yesterday.” What a great premise for a story. I think most people would take the chance at fame and riches even if it meant claiming songs that were not originally theirs. Hamish Patel plays the role of Jack Malik who decides that he’s going to take credit for the songs and the advantages that come with it. “Yesterday” is very good. Certainly one of the best films of this year so far.
Along with the story being unique and clever, its charming and heartfelt and the actors do a great job of buying in. The script is well written and thoughtful. At the heart of it all, it’s really a love story. Not necessarily between people, but rather between a man and music. Very early on in the film, the tone is set to what type of film it is going to be. It wants to make you feel. It wants to make you uncomfortable with plagiarism. But it wants to make you cheer for Jack Malik. The film hits on all cylinders.
“Yesterday” works even if you are not a fan of The Beatles. It doesn’t matter. There are a few moments where the drama switches to a romantic comedy then back to drama, but those moments are few and far between. It doesn’t distract from the overall story. If you are looking for something unique and creative, then “Yesterday” is the film to see. I wanted the ending to pack a bit more punch, I expected a more dramatic finale but certainly do not allow that bit of criticism to stop you from seeing “Yesterday.”