|In the new film "Yesterday", viewers are asked to suspend reality and live in a world where The Beatles had never existed, except in the memory of Jack Malik (Himesh Patel), who is hit by a bus while riding his bike late one night just as the entire world suffers a 12-second electrical blackout.
Jack is a struggling busking musician who regularly plays karaoke bars and small festivals in his quaint English town of Sussex England, hawking his original songs. While recovering after his bike accident he casually mentions a line from "When I´m 64" to his manager / friend Ellie (Lillie James) who looks at him with a titled-head look as if to say, "what?". After playing "Yesterday" for Ellie and some friends on a new guitar he was gifted, it becomes obvious that his friends (and most of the world) have never heard of The Beatles. Jack plays more of their songs at his shows, and it soon becomes clear that he´s a "song-writing genius".
Appearing on a local TV show, he catches the ear of super star Ed Sheeran who brings Jack on tour and even competes with - and loses - a songwriting contest to this "new" Lennon / McCartney / Harrison. As Jack catapults to superstardom, his guilt over having NOT written the Beatles songs he´s been playing as his own compositions, begins to eat away at him.
Yesterday is really a romantic comedy that uses the music of The Beatles as a device to unite Jack and Ellie, but the controversy has been causing "Helter Skelter" with first generation Beatle fans. Many have posted on our Facebook page - Beatle Brunch Show> - that they refuse to see the film, preferring instead to leave the legend intact. Some have gone so far as to post that they "never listen to Beatles tribute bands", only to the original Fab Foursome.
Brunch listener Mike Ray writes: "This is not a "Beatles movie", nor is it a movie about The Beatles. It´s not a radical reworking of Beatles songs used within the movie. If anything, it keeps the flame of the ´magic´ before a new audience and maybe... MAYBE... allows a new set of ears to experience what we all went through at some point in our lives - the first time you heard the original tracks of The Beatles and needed more information on who they are. Think of it. We are discussing this 50 some years later. So the version and film are not the point to me. It´s the impact that still reverberates off the original product. No problem with this gentleman´s rendition."
Harlan lee writes: "I thought this was a Clever idea for a movie especially in today’s action movie world somebody had to actually think and write a script here.".
Other comments from our Facebook page were:
Fran: "I have no problem with it. It´s Beatle-related and that´s a great thing",
Cathy: "I came. I saw. I concurred. A fun, great movie!"
Sandy: "Loved this movie!!"
Michael Colllins: "Loved loved loved the movie. It makes you smile and appreciate how lucky we have been to have The Beatles in our lives."
Barbie says: "Go ahead, it is a wonderful way to bridge generations 💘 is all you need."
But still there are those who prefer to "Let it Be", that is, leave the legend alone. Of course what this does is shine a finite ending on The Beatles to future generations. Today, anyone under the age of 60 has no memory of seeing The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, so do we let history books and DVDs become our tools for teaching future gens about the band in today´s 148 character world, or allow a creative device to showcase the brilliance of John, Paul, George and Ringo? The only answer is for YOU to see the movie and judge for yourself, but remember, it´s NOT a move about The Beatles, as listener Barry Dressner pointed out, it has a purpose: " It’s imperative to expose a new generation to the brilliance".
If you need one MORE reason to see Yesterday, it´s for the goosebump ending that thankfully, fans have NOT shared on social media (don't Google it if you don't want to know). In fact, we were told that preview audiences and critics who saw the movie in advance, witnessed an edited ending that saved this clever, misty moment for current - and first generation fans.
Beatle Brunch says, Go see Yesterday today.