For the past several years, it seems like movies have fallen into three distinct categories:
1. Superheros, Superhero Reboots, and Superhero Re-Reboots
2. Live-Action Remakes of Animated Classics
3. (usually poorly-done) Adaptions of Books
It is for this reason I've taken to watching older movies (some old faves, others new to me). Because most of these were at least original. So when a NEW film comes along that falls outside the above categories and that also seems genuinely fun and creative, it really catches my interest. Such was the case with Yesterday, starring Himesh Patel and Lily James. I was very excited to experience this one!
So... What would happen if you were to wake up one day and realize that you and you alone are the only one who remembered a monumental pop culture phenomenon and/or historical event? Would you write it off as The Mandela Effect and get on with your life? Or would you take advantage of the knowledge and use it in your favor? (because, really, who's gonna know?) This is the premise of the film.
After a bike accident, Jack, a struggling musician, wakes in the hospital as the only person in the world who remembers the music of the Beatles (there are other small differences, but this was the main one). He begins playing the tunes in public, claiming them as his own. With the help of best friend and manager Ellie, who totally has a crush, Jack quickly skyrockets into fame as the Greatest Musician Who Ever Lived. As Jack struggles with the dark side of fame and the fears that his secret will be somehow revealed, he also comes to terms with his own identity and his place in the world.
I felt that Yesterday had so much potential to be a unique and amazing film! Everything was there. Unfortunately, it fell short of my (perhaps too lofty) expectations. The foreshadowed conflict/action/main drama never really materialized, and there was zero chemistry between the love interests. Also, we never really learned what exactly led to the event that caused the global amnesia and why Jack alone was spared. This all felt like a huge missed opportunity. And the ending. I wanted a different ending.
The movie wasn't all bad. There were good points too. The stellar soundtrack, for one. The movie is worth it for that alone! And the plot twist where Jack receives some Sage Big-Picture Life Advice from a very surprising source made me supremely happy (no spoilers, though...but I'll let you Imagine the possibilities here).
Overall, though, the film had a fan fiction vibe to it and the whole thing felt... kind of incomplete. I was disappointed. I just wanted MORE from something that seemed to have so much promise. But at least it wasn't yet another Batman/Spiderman/Whatever-Man Origins movie. So there's that.