Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Yesterday [2019]

MPAA (PG-13)  CNS/USCCB (A-III)  RogerEbert.com (2 1/2 Stars)  AVClub (C-)  Fr. Dennis (3 1/2 Stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB (J. Mulderig) review
Los Angeles Times (J. Chang) review
RogerEbert.com (S. O'Malley) review
AVClub (J. Hassenger) review

Yesterday [2019] (directed by Danny Boyle story by Jack Barth and Richard Curtis screenplay by Richard Curtis) is a small-ish, independent-ish film about random British born, Indian descended Jack Malik (played Himesh Patel) a B-or-C-talented, struggling musician who had grown up in "Sussex England," (yes, perhaps "a beach town" but "in the middle of nowhere...") who had exactly one fan, Ellie Appleton (played wonderfully by Lily James) okay maybe he had two fans, there's also "Rocky" (played by Joel Fry).  Ellie's loved Jack since the 5th or 6th grade, Rocky's just sort of a bouncer/roadie who's had even less prospects than Jack and thus really, really NEEDED someone, something to "cling onto" to give his life at least some meaning (and in one of the more poignant and utterly natural scenes in the film, he literally says as much... and it makes you want to cry).

So this is the setup of the film.  Jack is a random, perhaps decent enough dude, with nice, random Indian descended parents (played wonderfully by Sanjeev Bakhsar and Meera Syal, that Jack's mom gets kinda funny -- "likes to sing" perhaps that's where Jack's gotten his "talent" ;-) -- after she's had a few glasses of wine is just priceless ;-), with exactly one person who's both his biggest fan and who absolutely loves him (and of course, he's utterly oblivious to the second part...) and ... if not for ... an utterly random event ... he would have lived and eventually died in utter anonymity.  Yet ...

... just as the entire world, utterly randomly went into a single 5-10 second power outage, Jack hits his head (his bicycle is actually hit by a bus) and when he wakes up ... and feeling sorry for himself, he strums the Beatles song "Yesterday."  To his astonishment he finds that NO ONE remembered that song.  EVERYONE including his biggest fan / "I'll love you till the day I die" Ellie thought he made it up on his own.  Nor did ANYONE know who The Beatles were.

Since he still remembers a number of the other Beatles Songs, conflicted (but honestly NO ONE knows, and EVERYONE EVEN GETS ANGRY AT HIM over his "false modesty" when he tries to tell others that the songs he was playing weren't his own), he eventually records them _as his own_ and ... rest of the story follows ;-).

It's a fun story about both anonymity and fame.  And certainly part of the film's message is that all these "Nowhere men/women/people" of Jack's "before he hit his head" life were ... arguably MORE INTERESTING than those he started to meet as he became "more and more famous." ;-)

Yes, the other reviews (above) were not spectacular, but if you like these "small-ish, independent-ish" films and actually enjoy the many, many colorful people in your lives, then you could love this film ;-).

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