Let It Be
Put yourself in Jack Malik’s strange situation. Recovering from a motorcycle accident that happened during a power outage, this songwriter/singer discovers he’s the only one who remembers the Beatles or any of their tunes. What would you do? Yesterday shows what Jack decides and how this changes his life forever. It’s a fun, charming and creative musical homage to those four talented lads from Liverpool.
Himesh Patel (Britain’s TV “East Enders”) brings Jack to life on screen. He makes this character one we care for, even when we don’t agree with his actions. And his voice, though not terrific, sounds just right for someone trying to do justice to the iconic tunes. He’s also poignantly funny, especially in an annoying but wonderful comic scene where he tries to sing and play “Let It Be” for his parents. And yet his beautiful, warm rendition of “Yesterday” almost made me cry. But his most surprising number comes at the end as he shocks us with his hard-hitting rock star version of “Help!”
I loved listening to the fabulous Beatles music. But my grown-up daughter heaped even more praise on the film. While we walked out of the theater, she said, “I think that’s my all-time favorite movie now. It’s filled with such joy of music!”
Past music gone from memories—
Lyrics, rhythm and melodies
A blackout caused this mystery.
But one man was immune, you see.
Jack remembers each Beatles song.
Would stealing them be right or wrong?
A songwriter, performer too,
his career going down the loo.
Will Jack hold back these tunes so great?
Get on with it, don’t hesitate!
Fame and fortune then follow him.
His life no longer looking grim.
Yet guilt creeps in a bit each day.
How long can Jack go on this way?
Yesterday mines this gold so well,
we must fall under its sweet spell.
Joy of music in each scene glows.
The Beatles genius through it flows.
And when it’s done, you will still smile.
Just let it be – a film beguile.
Patel’s supporting cast members also deserve praise. Lily James (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society) delivers an adorable performance as the loyal young woman in love with Jack for many years. Kate McKinnon (Ghostbusters) evokes laughter with her obsession to make Jack the greatest star in the world. Joel Fry adds more fun as Jack’s best pal who can be awkwardly insensitive at times. And Ed Sheeran absolutely nails the role of -- himself!
Thanks to director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) and writer Richard Curtis (Love Actually) for their good judgment in deciding to take on this special movie musical. I even forgive them for the sneaky way they hint about a sequel. In fact, I would like to be first in line at the box office for that one.
(Released by Universal Pictures and rated “PG-13” for suggestive content and language.)
For more information about Yesterday, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.