BEIRUT: Summer is usually the season of massive blockbusters and the industry’s biggest films with massive budgets, and yet somehow it is becoming clearer with each passing week that success no longer belongs to those films, but rather to the films with smaller budgets and bigger hearts.
Danny Boyle’s latest film YESTERDAY, a film that follows a young musician with big dreams who he wakes up after being hit by a bus during a global blackout and realizes that he is the only one who remembers the legendary band from the UK, THE BEATLES.
On the surface, this may seem like a wacky idea, but the film not only delivers loveable characters but also offers something more important, and that is the necessity of proper art in our lives as human beings.
It’s strange that we live in a world where music, films, and even stories are all about the immediate experience instead of a longer lasting effect.
The film doesn’t do anything out of the ordinary in the way that it presents the narrative, but just like in many cases, less is more and that statement is solidified within the world of YESTERDAY.
It focuses on the characters, their arcs, the challenges they face, the choices they make, and how all of these things interact with each other in relation to the overarching narrative.
The screenplay isn’t complicated and follows the Hero’s Journey in a way: Jack is forced out of his comfort zone by his mentor figure Elle, and eventually, he has to figure out his way in this world of fame and celebrity, until finally realizing that there is no place like home.
The performances in this film are really what stands out.
Himesh Patel, who plays Jack Malik, and Lily James, who plays Elle, have so much chemistry and it is quite clear how much fun and love they had for the story, the film, and each other.
Kate McKinnon also delivers a very exaggerated yet strangely accurate performance of a music manager and is quite memorable.
But what makes the film so enjoyable is its use of Beatles Easter eggs and references throughout the film, whether it be from locations, lyrics, or quotes.
References to The Beatles are also woven into the fabric of Jack's costumes, which become more sophisticated and dapper as the film progresses, and as he transitions from boy-next-door drab to sleek rising star. Jack's journey from his humble Suffolk beginnings to showcasing stadium concerts and rolling around L.A.
Thematically, the film is a reminder of what is most important in life, and that is the friends and family that surround us, believe in us, and love us for who we are unconditionally.
Life is not about fame, and it’s not about being a celebrity.
In fact, the film takes a very strong stand against both of those things, in a climactic scene within the film that has Jack meeting, and excuse the spoiler, a very much alive John Lennon.
This scene will bring any lover of life, and dreamer to tears because it proves that fame and fortune only result in misery and death, so instead of chasing after those, maybe instead we should cherish what we have and remember that what matters most has always been staring at us from behind the curtain on stage left.
An-Nahar is not responsible for the comments that users post below. We kindly ask you to keep this space a clean and respectful forum for discussion.