Length: 1Hr 52
About: Jack Malik is a struggling singer-songwriter in an English seaside town whose dreams of fame are rapidly fading, despite the fierce devotion and support of his childhood best friend, Ellie. After a freak bus accident during a mysterious global blackout, Jack wakes up to discover that The Beatles have never existed. Performing songs by the greatest band in history to a world that has never heard them, Jack becomes on overnight sensation with a little help from his agent.
- You couldn’t pick a better band to hang this premise on; the influential foursome have a wonderful back catalogue to interweave throughout the film.
- Game of Thrones and Plebs alumni Joel Fry is a wonderful addition to the plot. He provides a big chunk of the humour and he played off everyone really well.
- There is one scene that truly was incredible and I won’t lie, I watched it with a tear in my eye. Towards the end of the film, we come face to face with the one bitter sweet reality of The Beatles never forming: John Lennon has survived. We should have spent way more time here than we did. In fact, I’d have taken a whole film in which Jack Malik sits and has cups of tea with an 70-odd year old John Lennon. He’s portrayed flawlessly by the amazing Robert Carlyle.
- It’s not often I have a bad word to say about Kate McKinnon. Actually, scrap that, I’ve never said a bad word against the SNL comedian. However, she was grossly miscast in Yesterday. McKinnon’s Debra Hammer seems more like a SNL lampoon than an actual character. She’s a walking stereotype and she could have done so much better.
- Did you REALLY have to make the first recorded song of a TEACHER be ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, in which the first line is ‘well, she was just seventeen’?!?! Let’s just put him on the sex offenders list shall we?
- The trip to Liverpool was so unbelievably lip service that it was almost offensive. It was the bit I was looking forward to most, but it didn’t deliver.
- It’s devoid of almost all the charm of a Richard Curtis film. There’s no chemistry between the two leads and the resolution falls very flat. There’s no method to the items, bands and popular culture that’s erased from history by the Beatles not existing. There’s a tangible link for the popularity of Coca Cola in the UK, but the others seem like weird choices.
- Some would say it’s brave to have the film not return back to the status quo at the end. It’s a cute ending that is provided, but it’s far from fulfilling or satisfying. It also makes the protagonist a bit of dick for not even trying.
There’s not enough sweet to offset the bitter and it doesn’t really ever get to the heart of what makes the Beatles great.