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Yesterday (2019)

Directed by Danny Boyle

Story by Jack Barth, Richard Curtis

Screenplay by Richard Curtis

Starring: Himesh Patel, Lily James, Kate McKinnon, Ed Sheeran

Jack (Patel) is just another struggling musician until he wakes in a world where the Beatles never existed.

Yesterday is based on a story by Jack Barth (Japanorama) and Richard Curtis (Love Actually). Curtis worked with director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) to complete the screenplay. The film stars Himesh Patel (Aeronauts), Lily James (Baby Driver), Kate McKinnon (Ferdinand), and Ed Sheeran (Bridget Jones’s Baby).

It’s incredibly difficult to explain why this story works so well. Without spoiling things, it comes down to understanding what impact the Beatles have had on society. Throughout the movie there are little and big revelations about the impact of a Beatle-less world. Even with this premise, the movie still does a great job developing the characters. Each of them has a unique voice and their motivations are nicely defined throughout the story. The little twists and turns help to make the journey a lot more fun as well. The twists and turns don’t keep this one from being predictable in some aspects, but there are some surprises throughout. The dialogue is solid, and the end of the movie does a great job bringing a lot of different elements to a satisfying end. This is a wonderfully written film that takes a strange premise and makes it whimsical and heartfelt. This story works because it was written by people who understood the impact the Beatles have had on pop culture. It’s an homage to the Fab Four, and a great movie experience.

This movie is blessed with some great performances. Himesh Patel does an incredible job bringing a ton of complicated emotions to his performance. He also does an excellent job giving new life to classic Beatles songs. A large part of his success is due to his musical abilities, which are on full display throughout this one. He also creates great chemistry with his co-stars. Lily James also adds something special with her performance. Her chemistry with Patel is especially strong throughout the movie. The performances of the rest of the cast are also really good. One of the other standouts in this one is Kate McKinnon. Her comedic abilities were put to great use, bringing a number of laughs throughout the film. This one also has a great performance from Ed Sheeran. The musician does a nice job playing a fictional and entertaining version of himself. This one doesn’t have any bad performances, and the cast makes great use of the script.

Production work on the film did all the right things to make this one look and sound incredible. While the original Beatles songs can’t be beat, the versions used in the film are all wonderful. There’s a level of respect given to the material that it definitely deserves. The movie moves at a good pace, thanks to the script and the editing.

There isn’t a lot to complain about in this one. It’s a solid story, brought to life by great actors. If you’re a fan of the Beatles (or music in general) this is a must-see film. I would also suggest this one to fans of Danny Boyle’s other works. The stars bring a lot to the table, and their fans will also enjoy this one a lot. I give this one 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 113 Minutes

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