Review: Yesterday

At the movies: Himesh Patel and Ed Sheeran star in romantic-comedy/musical fantasy Yesterday, in cinemas now. Photo: Supplied.
At the movies: Himesh Patel and Ed Sheeran star in romantic-comedy/musical fantasy Yesterday, in cinemas now. Photo: Supplied.

Revered director Danny Boyle and king of romance Richard Curtis (Love Actually) have returned to the big screen.

Their latest, Yesterday, sees musician Jack (Himesh Patel) struggle to make a name for himself.

He and his best friend/manager, Ellie (Lily James), have spent years travelling between gigs all around Suffolk.

With dreams of wealth and fame fading rapidly, he may soon give up and become a high school teacher.

After a 12-second black-out spreads across the globe, Jack is now the only person who remembers The Beatles.

From the mind of Curtis and Jack Barth, the premise is certainly interesting.

With his first feature film screenplay in five years, Curtis stretches it out over a seemingly never-ending 116 minutes.

Yesterday has a lot in common with two recent hits - La La Land and A Star is Born.

Working off a clunky script, Boyle and the cast fail to reach those dizzying heights but still give it a red-hot go.

Known for many acclaimed films across a variety of genres (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, Sunshine), the Oscar-winning filmmaker nails the essentials.

Flicking through the Beatles' extensive catalogue, the movie honours the Fab Four without being corny or manipulative.

Thanks to his level of commitment, Yesterday avoids being a total disaster.

The leads make both the smaller and bigger moments work effectively. Like his character, Patel gets his time to shine and handles it well.

Playing the average 'Boyle leading man', the 28-year-old is charming enough to distract from his characters' flaws.

Having been in the spotlight for several years now, James has a bit more depth and range.

Ed Sheeran's performance is a mixed bag, while Saturday Night Live's Kate McKinnon drops the ball as Jack's new manager.

Compared to Boyle and Curtis's previous films, Yesterday comes off as grossly disappointing.