Imagine this. One night, the power goes out all around the world for 12 minutes and when the power comes back on, only one man in the world seems to remember the band The Beatles. Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) makes the most of this, performing all the hits of The Beatles and eventually becoming the world’s largest singer songwriter, burdened by the guilt that he’s stolen all of these songs. His manager Ellie (Lily James) pines for Jack the whole movie, wishing he would just notice her, but he’s become too distracted by fame to see her.
The first big name to recognize Jack’s newfound talent is Ed Sheeran, playing himself, and Sheeran’s agent (Kate McKinnon).
If you’re a fan of The Beatles, this movie should be really intriguing to you. The music is great, with Himesh Patel putting his own spin on many of the songs. He’s charismatic and likable, though it’s really Lily James who is the heart of the movie. I didn’t especially like her in other films (like Cinderella or Baby Driver), but here, she’s absolutely perfect and really puts Jack’s fame in perspective, what he’s missing out on while searching for the spotlight.
I also really appreciated Ed Sheeran, who is really just playing an exaggerated version of himself, but he stole the scenes he was in and provided much of the movie’s comedic relief.
This movie is quirky and weird but I think a lot of you may like it. It reminds me actually of my favorite movie Stranger Than Fiction. It’s not the best movie, but it’s niche and it’s weird and it will appeal to a certain set of people. A lot of you may love this movie, while others just don’t get it. That makes it hard to put a score on this.
What doesn’t work?
Why some of you won’t like this film… It leaves a lot of mysteries unanswered. You expect the other foot to drop during this whole movie and you don’t really get resolution for a lot of the questions that the movie has you asking. And they make it more complicated by revealing that The Beatles aren’t the only things that no longer exist, yet we aren’t offered any sort of answer as to why that is.
This lack of resolution can go either way. Some folks might find it jarring and dissatisfying. Others might find that it doesn’t go the predictable route and instead takes you somewhere else, providing a different climax than you likely expected. How you react to this will likely determine your overall happiness with this film.
I found Yesterday to be really charming and unique, with both Hamish Patel and Lily James doing incredible work. The music is great and the comedy almost always lands. Some folks will love the absurdity and this will become a cult classic for them, while others might get hung up on the lack of answers and resolution, saying this film absolutely missed the mark. For me, I found it delightful and a great time at the movies.