‘I didn’t write it. Paul McCartney wrote it, The Beatles wrote it…’
Imagine being granted access to the greatest collection of songs ever written and using that privilege to bring in Ed fucking Sheeran. That might be literally the worst possible way to approach making a film that is essentially a celebration of the Beatles era defining music. I’ll be honest. I’m livid.
Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) is a sad sack, failing musician who is inexplicably doted on by Ellie, a beautiful and successful teacher (Lily James). One day, Jack is hit by a truck and had the film ended there as it should have, it would have received a higher mark than the one it now finds itself with. Instead of seeing Jack bleed out on the unforgiving tarmac, he survives this ordeal and eventually recovers enough to discover that he is now the only person in the world who is aware of the Beatles and their music.
Annoyingly, the concept is actually pretty interesting but instead of exploring the multitude of problems that would arise when trying to introduce the fab four to a new audience, we end up with a montage of Malik performing uninspired Beatles covers in his bedroom before he is eventually discovered *grits teeth* by Ed Sheeran. Normally, I might caveat this bit with a sentence like ‘apologies to any Ed Sheeran fans out there’ but actually I’m quite tired and I went to get some Coco Pops earlier and I’d run out so you know what? I’m not sorry. Ed Sheeran is dogshit. There is no other way of looking at it. And his presence in a film about the music of the Beatles is not just unwelcome, it’s borderline sacrilegious. He is the turd in the punch bowl, the paper that jams the printer. And then, just when you think things can’t get any worse *stops to wipe sweat from brow* James Corden shows up. James Corden and Ed Sheeran. God help us.
Aside from *clenches fists* Ed Sheeran, we have Himesh Patel as perhaps the most unlikable protagonist ever, a script that is offensively predictable and cloyingly saccharine and the kind of direction that makes you wonder if this is the same Danny Boyle that brought us Trainspotting and 28 Days Later.
In short, Yesterday is embarrassing for everyone involved and I really hope that I get hit by a truck, survive, and then discover that nobody can remember that this film ever happened.