YESTERDAY, THE MOVIE

 

If you haven’t seen this movie yet, drop everything you’re doing and treat yourself to a couple of hours of magic .

It’s one of the best and most uplifting movies I’ve seen in years. It’s also an incredible tribute to the Beatles.  The script is powerful and seems to follow Blake Snyder’s beats in Save the Cat.  The story has heart, is funny, sad, triumphant and perfectly illustrates the idea that as human beings, many paths are open to us.

The young protagonist played by Himesh Patel is superb. The friend/love interest, Lily James, is perfectly cast. The… hey, just go see the movie. If you don’t come out of the theater smiling, then I owe you a drink and I want to know why.

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There’s also a neat synchronicity in the movie related to the song Eleanor Rigby. In the movie,  Jack Malik, a struggling/failing musician  has an accident during a power outage and becomes the only person who can remember the Beatles. So he starts playing their songs and becomes super popular. However, he keeps getting asked what inspired different songs. Since he didn’t write them, that’s a problem.

To rectify the situation, he takes a trip to Liverpool, England—a trip that baffles his new agent— to become familiar with some of the material in the songs. He stops in the Walton section of Liverpool where John Lennon used to live and visits a graveyard where he finds a headstone that mentions Eleanor Rigby.

Of course the context is that Paul McCartney, who wrote Eleanor Rigby, must’ve wandered through this graveyard, saw the name, and decided to make up a song about someone by that name.

But it turns out that’s not true at all, and the existence of that gravestone in Lennon’s childhood part of town is a synchronicity.

I found that out recently when I listened to a video made a few years ago in which McCartney talks about the origins of his songs. I watched it after seeing Yesterday, and was fascinated when he talked about the origins of Eleanor Rigby. He recalled a childhood memory of seeing older women sitting around gossiping.  He said he enjoyed listening to them, and decided to write a song about one such person. The name Eleanor came to him right away, but he didn’t know what last name to use until he happened to see a barber shop named Rigby one day. “I knew right away that was the name: Eleanor Rigby.

Years later, he heard about the gravestone. Apparently, a fan  had been researching the Beatles, and discovered it. But it was news to him. Recognizing the Twilight Zone-type oddity, he says: “Dee-Dee-Dee-Dee, Dee-Dee, Dee-Dee.”

One other interesting note about the origin of Beatle songs, McCartney says he wrote “Let It Be” after having a vivid dream in which his deceased mother appeared to him. He was having some difficulties in his life, and his mother told him to just “let it be.”

(This 26-minute video would’ve been real helpful for Malik to learn about the origins of many of the songs,  but of course it didn’t exist any longer in his reality!)

 

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15 Responses to YESTERDAY, THE MOVIE

  1. blah says:

    yep great movie.. oh by the way Rob and Trish, T+R.. that day we had sat had I little chatted… had just come back from down by Key Largo… had to check on something… ‘Scaggs”… can’t go into the other spokes… scuse…

    • Trish and Rob says:

      Something missing at the end of this….

      • blah says:

        should of been excuse seriously,,, Scaggs etched into the bridge,,, mentioned,,, Skaggs baseplayer… checked on the D. O. B.,,,go figure….

  2. Dale Dassel says:

    While I’m not a Beatles fan per se, I do like some of their songs (while others I can’t stand). Eleanor Rigby has always been one of my favorites since an early age, due to its quirky melody and morbid lyrics (this from a Poe fan). In other musical trivia, the words on a gravestone did inspire the title of a famous Allman Brothers song: In Memory of Elizabeth Reed, which the band saw while hanging out at Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon during their heyday.

  3. Darren B says:

    I haven’t seen the movie yet, but it has had rather mixed reviews in the press over here (Australia), which kind of put me off going to see it.
    I am a Beatles fan though, so I think I would probably like it.
    Funny thing about ‘Let It Be’ was Paul’s mother was named Mary and Paul was a Roman Catholic.
    A lot of people (including me) thought Mother Mary was about the Virgin Mary appearing in times of trouble to Paul and other humans (Catholics especially) and I’m sure Paul deliberately drew on that ambiguity in the song to sell more records.
    I had a fall from my bike in my teens where I hit my head and I seemed to recall a band that had a very big hit with a song called ‘Scrambled Eggs’ that sounded very much like the song ‘Yesterday’ in melody … but nobody else I mentioned them to had heard of them 😉

    • Trish and Rob says:

      Is that a true story, Daz? About the fall and scrambled eggs?

      The movie is really well acted and the story line and well, of course, the music, are terrific. There’s a really good twist near the end, too, that pretty much defines the movie. Well-written script. I smiled and laughed throughout the entire movie.

      • Darren B says:

        No, that’s why I put that wink in my comment.
        Paul claims he got the melody for ‘Yesterday’ when the melody came to him in a dream –

        “According to biographers of McCartney and the Beatles, McCartney composed the entire melody in a dream one night in his room at the Wimpole Street home of his then girlfriend Jane Asher and her family.
        Upon waking, he hurried to a piano and played the tune to avoid forgetting it.
        McCartney’s initial concern was that he had subconsciously plagiarised someone else’s work (known as cryptomnesia).
        As he put it, “For about a month I went round to people in the music business and asked them whether they had ever heard it before.
        Eventually it became like handing something in to the police.
        I thought if no one claimed it after a few weeks then I could have it.”
        Upon being convinced that he had not robbed anyone of their melody, McCartney began writing lyrics to suit it.
        As Lennon and McCartney were known to do at the time, a substitute working lyric, titled “Scrambled Eggs” (the working opening verse was “Scrambled eggs/Oh my baby how I love your legs/Not as much as I love scrambled eggs”), was used for the song until something more suitable was written.”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yesterday_(Beatles_song)

        • Trish and Rob says:

          I had no idea about any of this! Thanks for the info, Daz. It actually explains a part of the movie, I think. Think: Hey Dude, instead of Hey, Jude!

        • Rob MacGregor says:

          He left the thieving to George! Our dog park friend, Arlene, used to work at a law office that defended Harrison in the law suit: My Sweet Lord vs. She’s So Fine. Apparently, it’s legal to co-op the first three notes, but George took four. For shame!

    • Rob MacGregor says:

      Paul remembers. He talks about “Scrambled Eggs” in that video.

    • blah says:

      don’t be silly Darren… first of all movie reviewers have to go negative sometimes so they do it with good-great films which sell themselves… people will see them any… second of all this music as we all know WAS/IS genius…so Ergo…set in story line…well they have to put in effort to make it fail… which would be a SIN….. in the clint eastwood elephant sense…

  4. Adele says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the Beatles!

  5. DJan says:

    Thanks for this great review. I will definitely go see the movie now. 🙂