A mediocre comedy, Yesterday works with an interesting concept yet receives an unbalanced execution. It keeps one interested to see what’s about to unfold but always remains at the surface level, never digging too deep or adding much depth to the story.
This movie centers around a what-if idea that has quite a few interesting things to offer but doesn’t quite reach its potential and rather chooses mediocrity. Don’t get me wrong it’s not a bad movie, it just could’ve been improved. Surprisingly enough, director Danny Boyle decided to sign on this project and though his directorial style is evident, lots of the creative choices felt unnecessary and didn’t add to the events in any particular way. I mention this because though they work in his other films, these techniques didn’t do the trick this time. ‘Yesterday’ follows a struggling musician who wakes up after an accident only to realize he’s the only person on earth who can remember The Beatles.
So mostly the movie doesn’t struggle at making its narrative clear for viewers and everything feels straight to the point. However, what the story doesn’t really succeed at is getting us to care about the lead characters. Even though we learn quite a bit about the character of Jack Malik, we never really grow to care about his journey and maybe that’s because the story throws him into all these situations without exploring his background. Additionally, Lily James’ character Ellie felt off and didn’t share much on screen chemistry with Jack. Lots of strange plot decisions make one question the importance of her role in his life.
The cast did a good job portraying their roles, even Ed Sheeran stuck around for quite a while. Though the movie features some of The Beatle’s greatest hits, they don’t receive much importance perhaps due to the lack of focus. The whole romantic aspect of the film was also off and I had a difficult time buying that whole side of the story. That may be due to the fact that the screenplay was written by Richard Curtis, known for penning romantic films such as ‘Love Actually’ and ‘About Time’, and perhaps it didn’t mix too well with Boyle’s vision. Despite all of this, the movie won’t get you bored throughout its runtime and can somewhat be enjoyed. My only advice to anyone wishing to watch this movie is not to go in expecting a tribute to The Beatles.