Yesterday film review: packed with laughs, romance and great music

Lily James and Himesh Patel.
Lily James and Himesh Patel.

THE best of Britain is on show in Yesterday which combines the forces of writer of beloved rom-coms Love Actually and Notting Hill Richard Curtis, acclaimed director of Trainspotting Danny Boyle and the music of The Beatles.

Struggling musician Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) is tired of playing uninspiring gigs to uninterested audiences with his manager and best friend Ellie (Lily James), his one steadfast supporter.

During a freak worldwide blackout, Jack gets knocked off his bike by a bus and when he wakes up from a short coma, he realises no-one else remembers who The Beatles are.

Now with the opportunity to claim some of the greatest songs ever written as his own, Jack can finally chase stardom.

But back in Sussex, Ellie is there to remind Jack that maybe all you need is love.

Lovers of Curtis’ previous films will enjoy returning to his particular brand of British charm, with Jack’s group of friends and his parents providing plenty of laughs in the first act.

Kate McKinnon appears as an American music producer promising Jack fame beyond his wildest dreams and her unique style of humour acts as a nice counter to the quaint Englishness.

Himesh Patel and Ed Sheeran.

Ed Sheeran does not just have a cameo but a prominent role as the first person to give Jack his big break and has a fun time parodying himself as an ego maniac.

While Patel may not be the most fantastic singer, it goes to show how truly genius The Beatles were that his renditions of many of their songs still bring chills, a particular highlight a piano performance of The Long and Winding Road.

Sadly, an in-depth exploration of the consequences of such a significant part of the world’s cultural history disappearing from memory is sidelined in favour of the romance, the decidedly less original and less interesting aspect of the story.

Fans of the genre can have a fun time with this large-scale romp packed with laughs and romance, not to mention a great soundtrack.

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THE ESSENTIALS

Yesterday (M)

Directed by: Danny Boyle

Starring: Himesh Patel, Lily James, Ed Sheeran

Three and a half stars

Reviewed by: Lucy Rutherford

In cinemas now