Release Year: 2019
Director: Danny Boyle
Writer: Richard Curtis (screenplay & story), Jack Barth (story)
Starring: Himesh Patel, Lily James, Kate McKinnon, Joel Fry, Ed Sheeran, Alexander Arnold, Meera Syal, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Sophia Di Martino, Ellise Chapell, Harry Michell
After a worldwide power blackout, a struggling musician wakes up in an alternative timeline in which The Beatles didn’t exist and he is the only one who remembers their music.
This charming British rom-com has a cool premise; imagine if you were the only one who remembered The Beatles! And what if you were at the same time a struggling singer-songwriter? Well, most would probably do as Himesh Patel’s Jack and pass their treasury of songs of as your own. The result is fame and a doorway into a music industry vastly different from the one The Beatles inhabited. On top of some lovely comedy of the more subdued British variety, there is also a charming love story going on here, between the oblivious Jack and his best friend/manager Ellie (Lily James) who has supported his musical dreams since their childhood and has loved him secretly for just a long. The romance is sweet, the characters charming, and the script funny as you would expect from Curtis and fans of his will not be disappointed. On top of the film is of course filled with wonderful music. The plot does become a bit strained as times, with some odd narrative choices towards the end, but the zest and energy of film, in part down to its energetic and relatively untried leading cast, makes this a bit of a gem, even if you are not a Beatles fan. Highly recommended but detract a star from the rating if you are not easily swept away by rom-coms.
According to the director, Danny Boyle, some 20 Beatles songs were secured for use in the film at a ost of around $10 million, of which about 17 appear in the final cut. Expensive as it was to get the rights to the songs, it’s still only the second most expensive “asset” he has acquired for a film, with insuring Leonardo Di Caprio’s face taking the top seat.
Picture Copyright: UIP