YES­TER­DAY (M)

Life & Style Weekend - - MAGAZINE | RELAX -

TROU­BLES SEEM SO FAR AWAY, THEN HERE TO STAY

DI­REC­TOR: DANNY BOYLE (127 HOURS)

STARRING: HIMESH PA­TEL, LILY JAMES, KATE MCKIN­NON, ED SHEERAN

RAT­ING :

The mod­ern juke­box mu­si­cal movie ex­pe­ri­ence comes in all shapes, sizes and song­books. The Mamma Mia! jug­ger­naut kicked the door down and danced around the room.

Lately, Bo­hemian Rhap­sody flashed its Queen cre­den­tials and did as it damn well pleased. Rock­et­man and El­ton John are still do­ing the same in cin­e­mas around the world as you read this. And now, we have Yes­ter­day, which can play the big­gest trump card in all of pop­u­lar mu­sic: the ev­er­green, never-fail back cat­a­logue of clas­sics that be­long to The Bea­tles.

The odd thing is, Yes­ter­day never quite fig­ures out how to make the most of the size­able sonic head­start it has on the rest of the pack. Yes, the hits of John, Paul, George and Ringo are stuffed into the screenplay

like large di­a­monds in a small sock. But they won’t hit you hard with that day-chang­ing, soul-lifting rush of pure plea­sure em­bed­ded in the DNA of every Bea­tles song.

The cre­ative process propelling

Yes­ter­day has the dec­o­rated duo of di­rec­tor Danny Boyle (Slum­dog Mil­lion­aire) and screen­writer Richard Cur­tis (Love Ac­tu­ally) weld­ing an au­da­cious ‘what if …?’ premise to a rom-com frame­work. Whether the struc­ture is still stand­ing by the end will very much come down to the eye (and ear) of the be­holder.

What if some wild time-warp­ing phe­nom­e­non wiped all mem­ory of The Bea­tles and their mu­sic from his­tory, and only one per­son on the planet could re­mem­ber their songs? The lucky in­ter­me­di­ary in ques­tion is failed singer­song­writer Jack Ma­lik (Himesh Pa­tel), who sub­se­quently rides a rocket to megas­tar­dom af­ter pass­ing off The Fab Four’s com­po­si­tional gold­mine as his own.

The mu­sic biz as­pect of the movie is car­ried off fairly well. Ed Sheeran plays him­self as a key char­ac­ter through­out, serv­ing as the un­wit­ting spring­board for Jack’s leap to the big time. Kate Mckin­non co-stars as Sheeran’s man­ager, a cyn­i­cal op­er­a­tor who coaxes Jack into her sta­ble to milk every dol­lar she can from the guy.

As for Pa­tel’s work in the lead role of Jack, his per­for­mance smarts are above av­er­age. How­ever, with equal dra­matic weight­ing given to whether Jack and his true love (Lily James) will ever make it out of the friend zone, the only right re­sult for Yes­ter­day is a flat pass mark.

HIMESH PA­TEL AND ED SHEERAN IN A SCENE FROM YES­TER­DAY.

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