Yesterday Review: Himesh Patel & Lily James concoct a pleasing love story with The Beatles' nostalgia

Yesterday Review: Himesh Patel and Lily James concoct heartfelt easy-on-the-eyes performance which is balanced out by the nostalgia of The Beatles.

Karishma Shetty
Written by Karishma Shetty , Journalist
Updated on Jul 10, 2019 | 10:50 AM IST | 631.6K
Yesterday Review: Himesh Patel & Lily James concoct a pleasing love story with The Beatles' nostalgia
Yesterday Review: Himesh Patel & Lily James concoct a pleasing love story with The Beatles' nostalgia


Yesterday Director: Danny Boyle

Yesterday cast: Himesh Patel, Lily James, Ed Sheeran

Yesterday Movie Stars: 3/5

When a journalist asks the lead protagonist Jack Malik, how could one person write so many great songs, Jack quips that sometimes, it feels like he hasn't even written it. That was what attracted me to the trailer of Yesterday, when I first came across it. A world without The Beatles, oh what an obscure world it would be!

Yesterday (there couldn't have been a better title name for a Beatles musical) chronicles the life of struggling singer-songwriter Jack Malik (Himesh Patel), whose song titles range from Dinosaur to Summer Song. Life isn't kind to Jack whose only fan is his childhood friend-zone columned and only fan, Ellie (Lily James). However, after a global blackout and a freak accident, Jack is welcomed into the world where The Beatles don't exist. We then witness a meteoric rise for the singer, who uses the legendary tracks of the Fab Four and calls it his own. 


At the heart of Yesterday, the movie is a romantic musical which happens to use The Beatles as its fodder. Himesh Patel is the apt choice to bring to life the Beatlemania to the new generation. His eccentric, broody performance never dulls your spirits and his voice truly compliments the legacy of The Beatles, without tarnishing or autotuning it. Lily is known for her vibrant personality which she deals with in spades, irrespective of how one-dimensional her character gets. Kate McKinnon plays the power hungry agent Debra Hammer and is the parody of how music agents are projected in real life. Her theatrics seemed a bit put off for the subtle British humour that writer Richard Curtis brings to the table. Ed Sheeran is a welcome presence in the scheme of larger things, and the Hey Dude sequence was pure gold.

Danny Boyle, who we all know as the director of Slumdog Millionaire, encashes on the nostalgia factor and fandom of The Beatles to concoct a visually pleasing love story. Music plays a critical aspect in this romance and absolutely ravages through Beatles' greatest hits. A loyal Beatle fan would still get teary-eyed listening to some of the classics like All You Need Is Love and I Want To Hold Your Hand. 

Given how musical biopics are all the rage right now, with Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman, Yesterday comes as a breath of fresh air because it doesn't take us back to the time of The Beatles. Instead it helps reinvigorate the magic of the band to a whole new generation, and for generations to come.

While the plot is intriguing, the storyline tends to divert way more into the love story than The Beatles, which could upset many given the marketing dominance on the band. The dry British humour is equal parts funny but at times, forced as well. But thanks to the heartfelt perfomances by Himesh and Lily, this easy-on-the-eyes flick, deserves a watch. It's the genuine concotion of Danny Boyle's dramatic flare and Richard Curtis' penchant for perfectly-imperfect love stories.


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A writer - with 6+ years of experience - who loves to scribe! Currently curating content for Hollywood and jumping



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