We went to see Yesterday last week. Old married's 'date night'. The trailers looked fun, although reviews were a bit sniffy. You probably know at lest the gist of the plot. The write-up contains spoilers. A global power outage made people forget stuff. Like The Beatles. Most people anyway. A chosen few could still remember the Fab Four.
One of them was failed musician, Jack Malik On realising no one he encountered knew anything about The Beatles, he passed off their songs as his own and became a global pop sensation. Stadium tours, screaming fans and lucrative record deals were in the offing.
But being a global pop sensation meant leaving behind his "manager" from when he was a big fail, maths teacher, Ellie. Somehow Jack contrived not to fall in love with Lily James's character until the end. She who stuck with him in the lean times and encouraged him to pursue his dream of pop stardom. After all, as she said to him, why should he return to teaching, which would involve pouring his genius into school kids? What a waste. I mean, the bloke was the new Lennon and McCartney. Although no one had heard of them. Or Oasis, or Harry Potter. No Beatles, no Oasis figures, but no Beatles, no Harry Potter, how's that work?
Now, I can't remember exactly how. (Was there a real life global power outage, or is it just my age?) But in a pivotal scene Jack meets up with John Lennon, who gets to still be alive. In the film's alternative universe Lennon has lived a life of obscurity, missing out on the success he enjoyed with The Beatles. That's not a failure, however, Lennon tells him because he's spent his life with the woman he loved. And love, not fame and fortune is the measure of success. 'Money can't buy me love' he could have said, but didn't. Sadly.
Taking Lennon's advice Jack owns up to not writing songs by The Beatles, gives up on being a global pop sensation and marries Ellie. They have a family together and our hero and returns to teaching. All you need is love, see? But in the film Jack has a school assembly singing, Ob La Di Ob La Da. McCartney at his most annoyingly cheerful. Hey Jude (not dude) is saved for the credits.
The film has a nice message. Pursue success in the ordinary, rather than chasing empty dreams. X-Factor wannabes and 'grass is greener' discontents take note. Ed Sheeran didn't get uninvented. He's in it. Some good jokes. When Jack plays Yesterday to his friends one says its a good song, but not a classic like Coldplay's, Fix You. The soundtrack is great and Himesh Patel who plays Jack sings the songs well. His Help! really feels like a cry for help.
I didn't quite believe in Yesterday. A nice bit of escapism, but good to Get Back to reality.