It was a Friday night and “Rocketman” was sold out. Stuck between the choice of either going home or seeing yesterday “Yesterday” instead, my husband and I chose the latter. A strong 7.1 on IMDB and Danny Boyle (“127 hours later”, “Slumdog Millionaire”) as the director were good indicators of at least a half-decent movie.
Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) works in a shop and tries to make his dreams of becoming a real-deal musician come true. He’s having a hard time but his faithful and infatuated in him manager, Ellie (Lily James) is always there for him.
After another failure, disillusioned Jack decides to give up on his dream. Conveniently, that very same day his world (and not only!) changes. As a result of a world electricity blackout he’s hit by a bus and he wakes up in a reality where The Beatles never became a thing. Will he take his chance to replace them in the new world?
“Yesterday” is an okay+ movie. The cast is well suited for their roles with one big exception but I’ll tell you about it a bit later. I laughed a bit and smiled some more but ask me in a week what I did last Friday night and I’ll struggle to remember.
The music was good and so was the singing. The film is quite hart-warming and cute… but I’m not entirely sure what the message of it is. Is it a comment on modern music industry? Justice? Taking opportunities as they come? Propaganda about what’s right and wrong according to the creators? A reflection on how we don’t notice people who care about us?
I really don’t know what my take home is supposed to be. I don’t feel the movie manages to guide the audience towards a reading or at least a number of interpretations because it tries to cover too many topics.
The inability to choose the genre and the target audience is one of this movie’s biggest weaknesses.
It clearly tries to appeal to romcom lovers – just look at the poster mentioning “Love, Actually” and “Slumdog Millionaire” with two attractive people on the poster. It strongly suggests that their relationship will be a key issue in the story.
At the same time, it’s trying to appeal to music lovers and evoke nostalgia around The Beatles. To please the music loving crowds even more, they’ve made a terrible TERRIBLE choice of allowing Ed Sheeran to act in it.
It’s not like you can’t make a movie about music that’s also about romance but even in a much better movie “A Star Is Born” with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, a lot gets lost because two hours of screen time isn’t enough time to discuss the intricacies of the music industry such as the problem of selling out and the issue of staying true to yourself in your art AND depict a deep, relatable, yet complicated love story.
It’s a good movie to watch if you like oldschool music or you need a lift me up movie because you’re a bit low. Otherwise, give it a miss and pre-book your tickets for “Rocketman”.