Friday Movie Whimsy: Yesterday

Because Yesterday is a relatively family friendly movie, I saw the preview for the film many times in the previous few months. Every kids’ movie and every adult movie I watched featured the preview. And every time I saw the clip, I thought, “I don’t have any desire to see that movie with its ridiculous premise.” The truth is that it wasn’t until a blogger I like and trust said Yesterday was wonderful (in fact she said it was one of her favorite movies of all time) that I decided I wanted to see the movie. And I knew I had better hurry because it must be at the tail end of its run.

The British film features a cast with which I was mostly unfamiliar. I recognized Lily James from her Downton Abbey Days, and she plays the manager and closest friend of wannabe singer/songwriter Jack Malik. As hard as he tries, Jack finds no success and is becoming frustrated.

And then there is a never-explained event during which the entire world loses power for 12 minutes. Following that cataclysmic event, it doesn’t take long before Jack figures out that no one else in the world has ever heard of the Beatles or is familiar with any of their music. He takes advantage of that fact, and becomes an overnight success using their songs.

The story is poignant and mesmerizing as Jack is torn between the joy of finally being appreciated and the guilt in knowing that he has stolen the music even though nobody knows it. Or do they? The fun in the film for me is the opportunity to hear the classic and familiar Beatles songs performed ably by talented actor and musician Hamesh Patel who plays the lead. What, in fact, would the musical world be like if the Beatles’ music never existed?

The ending, which included a pleasant romantic conclusion, was satisfying and allows the viewer to leave the theater with a smile. See the movie while you still can!