Directed by Danny Boyle, Yesterday is Universal Pictures’ most recent film, which tells the story of Jack Malik (played by Himesh Patel), a local warehouse worker and musician. A tragic accident occurs where all lights in the world are turned off, causing Jack to collide with a bus and is thrown off his bike. When he wakes up, the world has no knowledge that The Beatles ever existed, and so he begins to pass their music off as his own––becoming one of the world’s best musicians.
Yesterday is a romantic comedy, most evident through the intimate connection between Jack and his manager, Ellie (played by Lily James). It is one of the funnier rom-coms I’ve had the pleasure of watching, as it consistently delivers genius jokes.. One of the most impressive aspects of the film is the cinematography and graphics, which are displayed through the use of diagonal shots; this makes the film not only visually stimulating, but quite impressive to the viewer. The graphics are vibrantly coloured and scroll across the screen in different directions, giving the film a joyful appearance, despite Jack’s clear unhappiness about his imposition.
The film stars Ed Sheeran as himself, assisting Jack on his pursuit to becoming a famous musician. It is through Sheeran that the film comments arguably on its primary discourse, that music is based on era, and old music is often forgotten. This provides the narrative of Yesterday, as it is based on the notion that The Beatles are neglected in this new age of society, however, that doesn’t detract from the quality of the music. Jack plays the music and it is loved by millions, however, he feels a sense of guilt taking credit for the band’s songs. He battles mentally throughout the film, until he travels to meet John Lennon in his isolated home.
Image lifted from Ed Sheeran’s Twitter
When Jack arrives, John isn’t a member of The Beatles; in this alternate reality, he has found love, and is living quite happily. John tells Jack he should chase after Ellie, as it is evident she brings him real joy. This carries another message through the film—that happiness and success aren’t the same thing. This theme is reinforced through Jack’s later manager, who owns a massive beachfront house but seems to be unhappy, chasing affection from Jack.
Whilst the narrative of Yesterday is cliched and has been seen in recent films—such as Isn’t It Romantic (2018)—this creatively constructed film is still a comedic gem. For romantic comedy enthusiasts out there, this is one for you.
‘Yesterday’ is set to be released in cinemas on Thursday 27 June