Yesterday is a brilliantly clever movie about a struggling musician that appears to be the only person left on Earth who remembers the Beatles. Here on Upstream we search out the overlooked gems that deserve a second chance viewing. If you are anything like me, you sometimes spend more time scouring streaming services for something decent to watch than you do actually watching something decent!
As always, we will try to keep things spoiler free, but there will be some minor plot points talked about. If you want to cut to the chase, I give a hearty recommendation to see this film!
Yesterday is directed by the amazing Danny Boyle (28 Days Later, Trainspotting). Starring Himesh Patel as Jack Malik (EastEnders, Damned) who does all of his own performances in the movie. I absolutely loved the new take on some of the Beatles classics. Lily James (Baby Driver, Pride and Prejudice with Zombies) is Ellie, Jack’s manager and currently residing in the friendzone. During a mass blackout Jack is hospitalized after traffic accident. Upon waking up he (slowly) discovers that no one else seems to remember who the Beatles are or have ever heard their music. Not knowing at first exactly what to do with this newfound information he later decides to reinvigorate his flagging music career with some tried and true classics. Jack finds difficulty at first until a well known pop star takes note and helps skyrocket his success. Kate McKinnon plays his newfound Hollywood manager and puts in one of the most out of place performances since Mickey Rooney almost singlehandedly ruined Breakfast at Tiffany’s with his terribly stereotyped acting. I like her well enough on SNL, but her character and acting were so out of place in this otherwise charming movie I found myself averting my eyes every time she entered a scene. This film was balanced with subtle and big moments creating a great dynamic. You just can’t have someone in a movie like this that thinks “turning it up to 11” is what you do with all comedy.
The music soundtrack was amazing and Himesh is an awesome performer. He gave some old classics a new twist that was enjoyable. It felt like Mr. Patel was coming from a place of love for the original material rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. I loved how the alternate reality parts played out and there were some clever little nods to just how out of synch things really were. There were some laugh out loud moments and a few tears, but this movie was a big win IMHO. Check it out on Vudu, iTunes, or Amazon!
Check out this cool deleted scene below!