Yesterday: 18 October 2019

I saw this on the plane, so I do not know what, if anything, was cut. It did not seem to be the type of movie where they would have to cut anything.

By now, I think, everyone is familiar with the premise of Yesterday. A “failed” musician, Jack Malik, gets hit by a bus while he is on his bicycle just as all the electricity in the world goes out for 12 seconds. He is in the hospital for a while and when he gets out his friends ask him to sing a song. He decides to sing a classic instead of one of his own and performs “Yesterday.” Most of his friends think he has written the most brilliant song ever.

Realizing it is not a joke, that his friends have never heard of the Beatles, he Googles. Beetles keep coming up. Eventually he starts Googling other artists and is relieved that the Rolling Stones and Childish Gambino still exist. During the movie, Jack keeps discovering other things that he remembers but everyone else seems to have forgotten.

He tries to remember the name of and the lyrics to every Beatles song ever written, always being held up by “Eleanor Rigby,” which he cannot remember correctly. Word spreads, Ed Sheeran asks for him to be his opening act, and Sheeran’s manager (played wonderfully by Kate McKinnon) takes over Jack’s career. Jack’s original manager is an old friend, Ellie Appleton, who is obviously holding a torch for Jack but Jack does not want to mix work and his feelings for Ellie.

It was a cute little movie and a nice rom-com. What the movie totally missed is why the Beatles songs were so great and why they live on. It is not just the lyrics and music, which in most cases is brilliant. It is the production by George Martin. It is the harmonies. And, although the music speaks to generations years after it was recorded, in many ways it could not have been made during any other time, so for it to be brand new in the 2019 would not have the same impact. Jack may sound good with just him and a guitar but it was a chemistry that the four of them created with Martin production that made the Beatles what they were.

By Carene Lydia Lopez