Yesterday in some ways was just fine, but I was hard-pressed to shake this feeling of disappointment. Never imagined a scenario where I’d rank Annabelle Comes Home higher than Danny Boyle’s latest project, yet here we are. How could such a unique premise derail like this? It just felt as the movie went forward, the narrative appeared to become so hallow. If your film is meant to be a love letter to arguably one of the greatest bands ever, then perhaps shy away from attempting to be a pseudo-romantic comedy.
What happens when a storyline attempts to accomplish many things, none of them come off right, and the whole premise falls flat. Yesterday‘s romantic dynamic is okay at best. This idea of the film honoring such a legendary band comes off as forced. Seeing a release, I had such high hopes for is irritating. Now, will audience members have a good time? I guess so. The music is bubbly, and the film doesn’t challenge anyone.
Much of the reason why this release falls flat can be attributed to screenwriter Richard Curtis. Curtis fails to achieve a centralized purpose at why Jack (Himesh Patel) is so driven to pursue his musical career. Is it fame? Is it glory? Could it be to win the heart of a girl? No one knows! We also are left wondering what even draws Ellie (Lily James) to Jack? Is it just her pursuit of love? Based on what I saw, the answer is yes. So in a sense, Curtis ends up creating such a flat character who has no drive or ambition. It’s sad.
The storyline also heads off in a very odd direction. He spends most of the film convincing us that all of this is some “fantasy” sequence only to find out this is loosely based in reality. Why not make this a result of Jack’s apparent injury from the bus? At least that would have given this whole sequence context. Instead, many of the audience were left puzzled, even as the closing credit began to roll.
Overall, while Yesterday is a harmless film that doesn’t make it a good one, it’s an average affair which when you consider the expectations would make it a mighty let down.