Quality Children's Entertainment Family Movie Reviews

Yesterday – An Unbelievable Plot And A Film Filled With The Beatles Music

Jack Malik is a struggling singer-songwriter in an English seaside town whose dreams of fame are rapidly fading, despite the fierce devotion and support of his childhood best friend, Ellie. After a freak bus accident during a mysterious global blackout, Jack wakes up to discover that The Beatles have never existed. Performing songs by the greatest band in history to a world that has never heard them, Jack becomes on overnight sensation with a little help from his agent. KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer Kimbirly O. comments, “Imagine a world without music from The Beatles. As I type these words, I realize how far-fetched this sentence appears and, as a music lover, it’s preposterous! The Beatles have influenced thousands of musical artists who followed in their hallowed footsteps post-Liverpool. While unbelievable, this is the premise behind Director Danny Boyle’s (Oscar-winning Director, Slum Dog Millionaire) latest film, Yesterday.” KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Katherine S. adds, “The movie is creative in many ways, including using locations that inspired several Beatles’ song titles such as Eleanor Rigby’s grave and Penny Lane.  My favorite character is Ellie, Jack’s manager. She is sweet, funny and beautiful. My favorite part is when Jack searches for The Beatles on the Internet.” Ethan P. wraps it up with, “This is a very entertaining and funny movie!  This film has two hours of comedy, romance and music.  I really enjoyed watching this movie and listening to some of The Beatles classic songs.” See their full reviews below.

Yesterday
By Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

Imagine a world without music from The Beatles. As I type these words, I realize how far-fetched this sentence appears and, as a music lover, it’s preposterous! The Beatles have influenced thousands of musical artists who followed in their hallowed footsteps post-Liverpool. While unbelievable, this is the premise behind Director Danny Boyle’s (Oscar-winning Director, Slum Dog Millionaire) latest film, Yesterday. When a 12-second global power outage occurs, Jack Malik (Himesh Patel, EastEnders) is riding his bicycle, collides with a bus, and lands in the hospital with serious injuries. During his recovery, he casually utters statements, which are song lyrics from the Fab Four, and no one gets it. His confusion leads him to Google, where Jack types “The Beatles,” only to received definitions of beetles. Try as he may, he can find no reference of The Beatles anywhere and, throughout the film, we learn other brands are also nonexistent in this alternate universe, such as Coke. Jack suddenly realizes he is the only person on Earth who remembers The Beatles.

(from left) Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) and Ellie (Lily James) in “Yesterday,” directed by Danny Boyle.

Things get very interesting as Jack has always been a struggling musician. Think kid’s birthday parties, lackluster music festivals and coffee shops. He is lovingly looked after by his lifelong friend Ellie (Lily James) who is also his manager, roadie and his only faithful supporter. If this level of closeness was not enough, we also witness unrequited attraction between the two main characters and, since the script comes from Richard Curtis (Love Actually), we know where this is headed.

Jack decides to learn the songs of The Beatles and make them his own – and he finds success! So much success, Ed Sheeran (playing himself) discovers him. Along with the pop superstar, comes his agent (Kate McKinnon), a money-grubbing, tremendously offensive yet also a funny woman who thinks she found the proverbial pot at the end of the rainbow. Things don’t quite ‘Come Together’ entirely.

Himesh Patel as Jack Malik in “Yesterday,” directed by Danny Boyle.

Things get ridiculous as Jack and Ed Sheeran embark on a world tour and meet a few interesting people along the way. The song selection is impeccable with “‘Help” providing an accurate reading of the song’s rarely spoken meaning, appropriate to the character and plot. The “Long and Winding Road” of the film is truly a musical journey.

I give this film 3 of 5 stars for the some of the casting, the humorous interludes, Kate McKinnon’s performance, UNBELIEVABLE MUSIC (kudos to whoever had to manage clearances for this film – WOW!) and female empowerment. This film will appeal to ages 12 to 18 and introduce or re-introduce the music of The Beatles to younger generations. This writer found herself toe tapping, singing along and loving all the memories this music holds. Check it out when it opens in theaters June 28, 2019.

Yesterday
By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

This movie is very entertaining. It has great songs, great singing and a little romance. The acting really pulled me into the story.

(from left) Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) and Ed Sheeran (playing himself) in “Yesterday,” directed by Danny Boyle.

Yesterday is about a man named Jack who  wants to become a famous singer. While riding his bike, the world’s power goes out and Jack gets hit by a bus. After recovering, his friends give him a new guitar and he tries it out by singing a song by The Beatles. His friends have never heard the song before or even know who The Beatles are. So, Jack gets an idea to claim those songs as his own, so he can become famous.

This new world that Jack now lives in, is crazy. It does not have The Beatles. And John Lennon is alive. Can you imagine?  The movie is creative in many ways, including using locations that inspired several Beatles’ song titles such as Eleanor Rigby’s grave and Penny Lane.  My favorite character is Ellie, Jack’s manager. She is sweet, funny and beautiful. My favorite part is when Jack searches for The Beatles on the Internet. 

(from left) Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) and Debra (Kate McKinnon) in “Yesterday,” directed by Danny Boyle.

The message of Yesterday is to follow your dreams, put love first and tell the truth. It has a bit of bad language and a lot of drinking, but hey, it takes place in England, so I guess that is to be expected. It has some negative behavior and other risky things that kids might try to do.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18. Adults will like this as well. This movie is in theaters June 28, 2019.

Yesterday
By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10

This is a very entertaining and funny movie!  This film has two hours of comedy, romance and music.  I really enjoyed watching this movie and listening to some of The Beatles classic songs.

(from left) Jack Malik (Himesh Patel, on tv screen) and Ellie (Lily James) in “Yesterday,” directed by Danny Boyle.

Yesterday is about a British musician name Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) who writes his own songs. Jack is not a successful musician and is about to give up his career as a singer/writer, but his long time friend Ellie (Lily James) encourage him to continue with his dreams to keep writing and singing.  One night, while Jack is riding his bike, the entire world suffers a 12 second blackout.  Jack gets hit by a bus and sent to the hospital.  For some reason, after the global blackout, The Beatles are erased from history; they don’t exist.  No one knows who The Beatles are except Jack.

The combination of comedy, romance and music is really good.  Not only does Himesh Patel sing all The Beatles songs himself, he has an extraordinary voice and plays several instruments tas well. My favorite part of this movie is seeing Ed Sheeran as himself.  Ed visits Jack and invites him to sing with him.  Ed’s manager Deborah (Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live) is extremely funny.  She becomes Jack’s manager and helps him make a great album singing The Beatles’ songs.  Jack becomes super famous. 

(from left) Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) and Ellie (Lily James) in “Yesterday,” directed by Danny Boyle.

My favorite scene is when Jack sings “Help!” on top of a roof, in front of huge crowd.  I also love the cast, because they are all very funny. For example Jack’s best friend Rocky is played by Joel Fry, who is hysterical and James Corden plays as himself and he is always very funny to watch. . 

The moral of this movie is not to lie.  In the movie Jack lies by telling the world he wrote all the songs and becomes famous.  Also, he is in love with Ellie and doesn’t have the courage to tell her.  Lying can get you into more trouble than you are already in.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to18. This movie comes out in theatres June 28, 2019. Look for it.

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