Yesterday is a film about everyone forgetting who the Beatles are except for one failing musician, who decides to then pass off their songs as his original works to get fame and fortune. But mostly, it’s about a romance side plot wherein he must choose between his dream career and dream girl, which could have happened even if this Beatles stuff wasn’t going on.
So no, I don’t think this film does a lot with it’s interesting premise, or that it even commits to it. With all the side stuff going on it can feel a little bloated. As for all the romance stuff, it’s very by the books and nothing you haven’t seen in any other generic romance story.
What saves the film is it’s sense of humour and endearing cast who turn quite a formulaic script into a film I quite enjoyed. Himesh Patel plays the lead, Jack, and Lily James (the best of the cast) plays his love interest, Ellie. It is quite silly how out of proportion their romance is written – with Lily being obsessed with Jack, but him seemingly having no idea how their dynamic is shaping up – but somehow I do think the performances given make it feel more grounded than it really has any right being.
A pretty by-the-books film, and one that must have been quite expensive given how many Beatles songs they had to licence. I just wished they leant into their premise a bit more. It focuses on the romance, I think, to try and be more relatable… But, I’d rather watch Jack rip off some music some more and deal with the cynicism of the music industry some more.