Let's go back to the past, back to when you first heard The Beatles. Think of that first song that you might have heard. I remember the song it was when my mother and I were cleaning the house in Lansing, Michigan and she put on Abbey Road, I remember standing and listening to something that I had never heard before. That day was a great moment in my life as I am sure anyone reading this right now might be also having thoughts of when they first heard The Beatles.
Jack(Himesh Patel--Eastenders) is a struggling musician who with his friend/manager Ellie(Lilly James--Downtown Abbey) helps him get some dates to have people hear his music. Feeling frustrated with the lack of support from others, the only love he is shown for his music is his mother and Ellie. Jack says he is done with playing music and should go back to teaching.
One night Jack is riding home on his bike and all of the power across the globe shuts off for 12 seconds-in that 12 seconds he is hit and thrown from his bike, looses two of his front teeth and is hospitalized.
Upon his release, Ellie and a few close friends celebrate his being alive and his cherished guitar suffered a worse fate than Jack did, so Ellie buys him a new guitar.
With a bit of pushing and his friends suggesting that a new guitar deserves a new song, he sings Yesterday.
Such sincere work of the actors around him makes this scene really work solidly--if this scene doesn't work the rest of the film will fail.
I am the biggest critic of songs being re-sung by musicians or actors of The Beatles music, I will be honest I do not care for very much of it. That being said this movie makes it work and the casting of Himesh Patel is a joy to watch and this captured the innocence he starts off with and then is catapulted into stardom, it really starts to wear on him when others start using his fame for their beach houses and also his guilt of knowing truthfully that he did not write these songs.
It also shows the price of fame and how it can push those who love you the most away from just being a household name. He hangs his head in shame a number of times, having dreams that he will be found out by the two remaining Beatles ---his conscious gets the better of him, in the end, he comes clean on the biggest night of his life.
At the moment that I did not know was coming near the end of the film is when Jack is given a piece of paper with something on it that is not shared with the audience.
The camera follows the taxi that takes him to a house near a beach and upon knocking on the door I was shocked at what was there.
An elderly man, spending his days alone drawing and playing music(possibly)--we are told he is in his 70's and it made me choke up and shed a tear.
I watched the film here at home as I was sent a copy of the film to review, I am so very thankful that this was sent to me --being a HUGE Beatles fan, this really hit home with me. Other than the somewhat formula writing of the greedy management that he later acquired with his success and her riding his coattails of fame and fortune. He never really seems to change his personality, it's everyone that has changed around him, his friends have become almost strangers and the others just feed off of him.
The humility shown in the film and the character of Jack is what works and what could have easily failed as well, if not told well.
Great script and great acting all around.
I really bought the premise of this movie and I feel that this is Danny Boyle's best work to date!
I am thankful to the great people at Taro PR for making this happen of having the movie sent to me, also very thankful to Universal Studios Home Entertainment for the copy of the film to watch again and again. I was also sent a guitar pick with the title "Yesterday" on it.
|My physical copy of the movie and notes on the film/production and the guitar pick as noted.|