The Movie Yesterday is an Outside the Box Comedy - Taylor Holmes inc.

The Movie Yesterday is an Outside the Box Comedy

Yesterday is an Outside the Box Comedy - and better than most comedies, will make you think about what really matters.
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It’s extraordinarily rare that I mention comedies here at THiNC. And today we are talking about how the movie Yesterday is an outside the box comedy that is worth your time. And I think over the last…oh, holy crap!

Stop. Just stop. I just realized that I’ve almost been doing movie discussions for a solid ten years now. August 26th was my first movie review and discussion – and it’s right here if you want to take a gander at it. It’s the movie review that launched this site in the film direction. Up until that point I was talking mainly about technology, games, non-profits, and random/junk drawer ideas. But almost ten years ago, I started talking about movies here. Wow. August 26th is going to have to be a celebration of some sort… hrmmm. Let me get back to you on that one.

OK. Sorry. Where was I? Oh oh oh…that’s right. Comedies. I’m not a huge fan of comedies. Maybe in the past ten years I’ve brought four or five of them your way? If that? I really can only remember 2. So this is kind of a strange feel for me. But yes, today I’m recommending a comedy. The movie is Yesterday, with Himesh Patel, Lily James, and Ed Sheeran.

The movie is a thought project on what would happen if the world lost all of the works by The Beatles, and only one person remembered them…? It’s a flamboyantly pointless exercise, until you realize that it is brain trust thought project as to the elusiveness of fame. Or the guarantee there of.

Yesterday Movie Deeper Dive

My wife and I, in a pub after the movie finished, were discussing the merits of the movie and the interesting questions that the movie raises. Think about it for a second. Whether you’ve seen the movie or not (which, I do recommend you see – but there’s only one or two little spoilers in the movie, and I won’t go near those) the idea is an appealing thing to consider. The central ballast upon which the rest of the movie rests is the idea that there are certain iconic works of art that are so good, and so perfect, that they are guaranteed to be a success no matter who wields them. And the corpus chosen here are all the works made by The Beatles. If Fred from Accounting showed up with all the Beatles’ songs, ready to sing them at a local bar, would the world listen?

Or, what if, St. Peter’s Basilica disappeared one day, and Freda, from the District Attorney’s office, walked in with a SketchUp design of the cathedral and the plaza, would we call forth masons and master builders to come forth in order to erect the edifice forthwith?

No. No we wouldn’t. (If you are disagreeing with me in your head right now, I’ll lay my case out for you momentarily. But trust me, you are very very wrong.)

And yet, that is the presupposition regarding the movie Yesterday. That The Beatles works are so iconic, so beautiful, so exultant, that we would instantly recognize them as essential art the moment we first heard Jack Malik crooning the first few bars of the song Yesterday. And yet, we know, that that isn’t how either art or how fame works. Accepted art that is quality and that meets world wide renowned is as elusive as the wind. Just flip through pinterest and you’ll see a literal metric ton of quality art coming from people that work day jobs as plumbers and architects because they can’t sell their work for anything. But it doesn’t mean its any less extraordinary.

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying everyone is capable of great art. That’s THE LAST thing that I am saying. But what I am saying, is that an iconically good song is as much a product of its era, the singer, the location and circumstance of its ascension. Everything. It’s all rolled up into the song. Similarly. St. Peter’s Basilica, or St. Paul’s, if London is more your style (both are amazing for different reasons), is similarly a product of its era and its day. Humans had been ascending the penumbra with marble slabs for hundreds of years when Bramante, Michelangelo, Maderno, and Bernini planned the greatest structure of the Renaissance architectural feats. It was a natural progression of style, and form, lines and balance, that all came together with the creation of St. Peter’s. Trust me, if an architectural firm dropped a St. Peter’s on New York, they’d be laughed out of the city.

Obviously in the movie, Sheeran makes way for the lyrics of John Lennon. He’d be an enormous pompous ass otherwise. But if I scribbled out a lyric on a bar napkin that happened to sound a lot like a stanza from Lennon, he wouldn’t step aside. He just wouldn’t do it.

I Actually Liked Yesterday – A Lot

Besides the central tenet upon which this movie rests, I really did enjoy the movie. And it actually had a wholesomely anti-Hollywood, anti-music industry, anti-fame, moral to it that I applauded loudly. When Malik realizes that his one opportunity at love would come at the expense of his fame, and at the expense of the money he could make on all of the Beatles music, he quickly makes the right decision and walks away from all that sparkles, and chooses the girl. It’s a difficult decision to make. And yet, he realizes that it’s love that is missing in his life, and that all the money in the world won’t be able to replace his love for him. So yes! Kudos Hollywood for writing a story counter to everything that makes up the industry as a whole.

What cracks me up though is that I do believe in objective beauty, and yet I still have a hard time considering the ease at which The Beatles re-emerged, sans Lennon, Ringo, and the rest. But, minus this minor hitch, I really liked the inside out way this movie worked. It was a great idea, and it kept me thinking for the last few days since I saw it.

Edited by: CY