Sometimes a movie has a better premise then the final product. I went in for Yesterday, I had expectations. Not only was this a script from Richard Curtis but it was a Danny Boyle film. It was tailor-made for me. And yet, when everything was done, I couldn’t help but feel like something was missing. Yesterday isn’t a bad movie, it’s actually pretty good but with that premise and team, I was expecting to be blown away. And that just didn’t happen.
Yesterday tells the story of Jack, a struggling musician who after a freak accident becomes the only person to know who The Beatles are. With the knowledge of some of the greatest songs ever created, he decides to use it to his advantage and become a global superstar. It’s a cool idea, an original idea and it helps that it’s boosted by one of the best soundtracks ever because of the fact that the songs are all from The Beatles.
For most of the first part of the film, I couldn’t help but feel like it just didn’t feel like a Danny Boyle movie. It just felt ordinary and I missed the flair that he brings to his films. But that was corrected in the second half when the story is all established and now Boyle can have fun. And I think that is one of the main problems I have with this film. We know from the trailers that Jack will become a star because of the songs but it takes so long to get there that I started to lose interest. But once we get there and all the problems from his situation start to arise, the film just kicks into third gear and everything starts working.
Himesh Patel and Lily James work well together. Their relationship feels real and that helps the film to not drown at time. Patel shines in his first starring role and proves himself to be a great lead actor. But to me, the surprise of the film was Ed Sheeran. Yes, that Ed Sheeran. At first, I thought his role would be a small cameo but no. While he does play himself, he is capable of doing some decent work with the part that he is given. I thought that having Ed Sheeran in the film was going to take me out of it but it worked well and the chemistry he has with the cast made it that it didn’t feel out of place.
Yesterday is difficult to explain without spoiling too much. The trailer reveals a little bit but some of the great moments work well because you don’t see them coming. Some of the jokes that come from the situation that Jack finds himself inland super well but the film falters a little bit when it comes to just the comedy in general. It never feels like a comedy where you laugh out loud the whole time. I chuckled here and there and had a good laugh once or twice but I never found myself thinking that I couldn’t stop laughing because it was so funny. Which is a shame because some of the jokes were right there and just didn’t get utilized.
What I will give Yesterday is that it doesn’t shy away from the supernatural element of the script. While I do wish we had gotten a little bit more of an explanation for why it was all happening, I can’t deny the fact that I like that the film doesn’t try to resolve the supernatural element of it all and just decide to live in it. Even by the end, the new world is still there and the characters just live in it and I loved that. I think most movies would try to go back to the normal of it all but not Yesterday and that is refreshing.
Yesterday should have been a slam dunk. I should have walked away thinking it was the greatest thing ever. It had everything going for it. A great idea, a great writer and director, an amazing cast and a killer soundtrack but something was missing, at least for me. I don’t know what but I was just expecting more. I wish I wasn’t but I feel like it could have been just a little bit more. It could have been great and instead just settled for good.