Movie Review: Yesterday (2019)

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Summary: A struggling musician realizes he’s the only person on Earth who can remember The Beatles after waking up in an alternate timeline where they never existed.
Pros:
Cast and Characters.
  • Himesh Patel as Jack Malik. I think it’s super cool that he is the lead and a person of color of this “romantic comedy” film. Jack is just a regular guy, there’s nothing remarkable about him other than he can sing but his songs are shite lol. He’s been at this for a long time and he’s getting burnt out and he’s ready to give up. Then suddenly, he gets hit by a bus (which by the way, all electricity went out but that includes bus headlights? And if that’s the case, why would the bus driver keep driving if you can’t see? Stop!) and he wakes up in a world where the Beatles among other things no longer exist. He then gets the idea to try and remember all the Beatles’ song since he seems to be the only one who remembers and become famous from it. I think many people would try this and he’s mostly successful at it. The biggest problem comes when he starts to feel that he’s living a lie and then all the “romantic” stuff happening, it’s fine. I liked him. Yeah, his character isn’t remarkable, he’s fine but I liked this actor though, he had a great voice, I generally liked his energy and I would be happy to see him in more films.
  • Lily James as Ellie Appleton. I am family with her, I think she’s likable in everything I’ve seen her in so far and Ellie is no exception. I do think she falls into the “typical love interest” role which was a bit irritating, but I think as Jack’s best friend and someone he trusts, him being someone she trusts, you believe in their friendship. She was good.
  • Joel Fry as Rocky. He’s probably my favorite character just because he was all over the place but still managed to be reliable. This guy was in Game of Thrones, he was that guy from Meereen who was gonna marry Dany, but he was killed (spoilers? lol) and it was so cool to see him be this completely different character. He was a bit of a drunk but functioning. He was a good friend to Jack; he was pretty much a person who had his back the entire time even if no one quite took him seriously. I liked him. His humor was on point and his delivery was great.
  • Ed Sheeran as himself. He literally plays himself and I like him so that’s okay with me. I don’t know him personally, so I don’t know if he was playing true to himself or a parody of himself. But he hears Jack’s song, gives him a call, they talk, and he was just so personable. It was really cool to see. I also liked how while he was clearly upset by it, he agreed that Jack was a better songwriter, even though technically he’s not since it’s the Beatles lol. But I thoroughly enjoyed seeing him.
  • Kate McKinnon as Debra Hammer. I don’t always find her funny, it really depends but I do think her facial expressions are great even if what she’s saying isn’t funny. This movie gives her great moments for amazing face comedy. She’s Ed Sheeran’s manager and wants to also manage Jack and what’s funny about her, is how much she seems to dislike Jack because he’s so blah to her lol. It’s funny mostly. Kate McKinnon is fun in this role.
Cute and Charming. I didn’t think it was going to necessarily have that big of a romance subplot, but it does and while I don’t think the movie needed it, overall it was a charming movie.
Interesting Premise. I really like the idea of this film. We’ve seen similar things where people wake up and they no longer exist in the world, usually after a wish, but nothing like that that I can recall anyway. I like the idea that something has changed that means so much to so many people but then it’s just gone, and no one is the wiser. Super interesting and I wish the movie would have handled that idea a bit better. Yeah, we get some moments where Jack would say something, and no one would know what he’s talking about lol that’s cool and makes for some humor.
Cons:
Under-explored. This movie has a great premise, of course you know that something happens, and Jack wakes up in a world where The Beatles didn’t exist. We learn of other consequences of this world, but we never quite go deeper into how many things have changed. If an entire brand/company has disappeared, what all has changed? It’s not like this movie was set in a different time period, so I wish we got to see more of what was different in this world and what that meant for the culture. A lot of the stuff that disappeared had cultural (pop culture or otherwise) significance. We were never told what happened to this stuff that no longer exists! For example, a cigarette, that’s gone. But what is in its place? We are never told why that random black out happened. It’s magic? But why now? Did the universe just want to give Jack a chance? I need to know more. Perhaps it would have been better as a short film instead of feature length.
The Impact of the Music. I will never say I am the biggest fan of The Beatles. I know a few of their songs that I can recognize but nothing that I can say I know the lyrics to. At least not in their entirety. But even I know that The Beatles have HUGE cultural impact, and nothing seemed all that different. I feel like there would be a ton of things that were different, among all of the other things and even when Jack does the songs like they’re his own, people love them because they’re great songs but do they mean anything other than him being a good “singer/songwriter”? You don’t see any type of impact other than it’s a great listen lol.
The Romance Subplot. It’s cute but I don’t think the movie needs it. I really wish the movie didn’t do it because there wasn’t much an indication that Jack felt romantically towards Ellie. I thought she might like him but since he didn’t reciprocate, nothing would happen. My friend thought the opposite of him liking her without her returning the feelings. I think that’s a problem if two people get two different vibes, it means either the actors didn’t sell it well enough in the beginning or the writing just wasn’t there to support that. Sure, you can say “interpretation”, but I still think it was a weak addition to the story. They could have just been friends.
Overall, I think Yesterday is super cute. I don’t think it’s anything to write home to your mom about but if you want something charming, light-hearted with good comedy and music, then this is a good movie to try. Not to mention, the lead actor is brown, which is always a plus. The characters were good, the comedy landed mostly, I thought Ed Sheeran was great, even if he was playing himself lol. The premise is interesting but with that said, it might have benefited from being a short instead of a feature. The premise, while interesting, is under explored and the romance wasn’t needed. But in the end, Yesterday is cute.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars. 
Have you seen Yesterday? What did you think of it? What is your favorite Beatles song?