‘A world without the Beatles is infinitely worse’, we are told at one point in this film. Worse than what, we aren’t told. Doesn’t matter, because the film is about the Beatles, though not exactly. Confused? Then read on…
Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) is an amateur singer, working in a cash-and-carry in a coastal town in East England. The only inspiration and support comes from his loyal friend Ellie (Lily James) who has more than a soft corner for him and stands by him throughout. One day, as a result of a global power shutdown for 10 seconds, he loses a couple of front teeth while the rest of the world loses memory of who the Beatles were. Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr are mere names. Taking advantage of this, Jack attempts to pass off the Rock band’s songs as his own. After a while guilt pangs set in and his relationship with Ellie suffers.
The title is borrowed from the 1965 hit Beatles’ song of the same name. Though the script by veteran Richard Curtis (Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral) attempts to recreate the magic of the world’s greatest and most memorable rock group, it fails to stay convincing through the couple of hours of runtime. For example, how was the memory erased? Why was Jack excluded – are questions that may plague the viewer. Director Danny Boyle’s (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire) attempts to humanise the group’s music and make it venerable, succeeds to a point. Himesh Patel acts well but overdoes his dumbfounded expressions. Lily James looks charming while Kate McKinnon as Deborah, Jack’s agent is adequate. Meera Syal and Sanjeev Bhaskar, as Jack’s parents, barely have screen-time. Christopher Ross’s aerial cinematography of the stage concerts is visually appealing. Overall, a pleasant, one-time watch, especially for Beatles’ fans.
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