Summer 2019 has, in terms of film, been one of the most disappointing in recent memory. We’ve seen unwanted remakes and reimaginings; beloved series shoot themselves in the head, looking at you Men In Black International and, your genius decision to not bring Will Smith back. Overall Summer 2019 has been in a word- meh.
The highlights would probably include, Brightburn for sheer originality, Toy Story 4 for not being a blatant cash grab and, Spider-man Far From Home, which let’s face it is only really cared about now because it might be the last one in the MCU.
Horror was in pretty good form over the summer though, with Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and Midsommar both being fantastic films, sadly the horror front was let down by the lacklustre Annabelle Comes Home from the Conjuring Universe, but at least 2 out of 3 isn’t bad.
However, one film stood above all as the best film of the summer, at least to me, that film was Yesterday. Yesterday is a British ‘Feel Good’ Romantic Comedy, focusing on talented but, overlooked musician Jack Malik, (Himesh Patel), as he, after a bike crash, wakes up in a world where no one remembers the Beatles, except him and two others. What follows is Jack’s rise to fame as he takes credit for writing and singing all of the Beatles most famous songs, along the way he learns what’s important to him, and that fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Though the premise, Beatle-less world aside, has been done a million and one times before, there is something about Yesterday, so endearing and undeniably positive, that you can’t help but smile. It hits on a lot of different emotional cores and leaves you happier than when you went in; there is no doubt about that.
The film is well-executed and planned out, with each musical sequences feeling needed and relevant to the plot of the film, rather than just feeling like it’s there to be “remember this song”, as so many other musicals do. This goes to show that Director Danny Boyle hasn’t lost his streak for making great films, said streak brought us the likes of Trainspotting 1 and 2 and is still very present here.
A significant plot point of the film focuses on the will they won’t they, relationship between Jack and his childhood best friend Ellie, (Lilly James). The chemistry between James and Patel is palpable, which makes the eventual relationship not only believable but, also one you can’t help to root for and, become invested in. The interesting twist on the standard unrequited or, overlook love angle here is that it’s James’ Ellie who is madly in love with Jack, but he can’t see it and, thinks they are just friends. This twist on the standard gender roles this story angle usually has is fascinating and, something more films should do.
Finally, the film’s music is infectious, even if you don’t like or, for some reason don’t know the Beatles, their music is used in such a heartfelt and touching way here; that you can’t help but, sing along. Yesterday is a love letter to the Beatles and to music in general and, that fact shines brightly in every scene.
If you haven’t already, you should see this film, as I can guarantee it will put a smile on your face and, make just a little bit happier.
Review by Luke