The film Yesterday quickly establishes the foundations of its history: a successful (ish) musician (Himesh Patel), a blow to his head (classic resource to explain the inconsistencies that will follow) and a young and beautiful woman in trouble (Lily James) and a fascination for being a celebrity. The premise alone is interesting and promotes some fun situations. However, the predictable scenario is not pleasant, at least not for long.
Jack (Patel) has been working as a singer-songwriter for many years, but despite his great talent and the tireless efforts of his manager Ellie (James), he has not been successful and is not even taken seriously in the artistic world. But a miracle happens, Jack is hit by a bus. After his recovery from the accident, Jack at a small friends party sings Paul McCarney's song "Yesterday." The singular thing is that none of them and no one else in the world remembers who the Beatles are, except Jack. It is as if the famous British band had never existed. This is a gift for the failed musician, as it allows him to make a career by singing the classic songs of the group as if they were his own.
The staging of Danny Boyle tries to infuse the film with a rapid pace to the detriment of the story. The qualities of situational comedy are lost with the effects of quick editing. The inspired interpretations of Himesh Patel and Lily James, however, manage to maintain our interest despite the outdated appearance of their romance.
Those who like British love comedies know that there is no way to beat Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Notting Hill). Many of the great successes of this genre are due to his scripts. The movies are often entertaining, maybe lovely, always in touch with our feelings. The characters and their tangles, mostly amorous, are in the foreground and the places are usually in the background. The atmosphere that is created in most Curtis films is what is most attractive to the public, something very characteristic of his filmography. But at the same time it is the least exploited.
When Jack wakes up in a world where there is no Beatles, it not only causes himself a great surprise but also takes advantage of this situation. Even as a spectator, one may question: How do you think of something like that?
Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire) received the honorable task of doing something from this unusual situation. The English filmmaker succeeds, at least in part. The most fun will be the first hour, which pays tribute to the film's absurdity. This works great when the incredulous Himesh Patel does not understand what is happening around him, especially since some things that are present in our daily lives have simply disappeared after the incident, and their disappearance results in a more fun life.
The movie is entertaining. The various satirical blows in the entertainment world are embodied by Kate McKinnon (Ghostbusters), who plays a money-hungry manager, who plays her role in a cartoonish way.
On the other hand, it is attractive to Beatles fans, who can delegate to the presentation of their most classic songs.
Full of sentimental messages, speeches about perseverance and the perverse effects of being a celebrity, the film, however, seems to be more focused on criticizing our point of view that questions the problems of its own characters. In our opinion, the last third of the film also misses the opportunity to restore the balance of the female character, which seems to come from another era.
Yesterday is fun enough to spend time on a gray and rainy day, a comedy to feel good, which reminds us of what is really important in life and leaves us a message: that happiness is not found in the great stages of this world, nor in being a familiar face in social media. However, this does not leave us with a new or very deep vision of the subject.