‘Yesterday’ Director Forced To Defend Film’s Cringeworthy Twist After Fan Backlash

Beatles fans are pissed.

Yesterday Beatles Trailer

As you’ve probably already heard, the new Richard Curtis-penned rom-com Yesterday is very, very silly.

Imagining a world where only one man remembers the existence of The Beatles, the film is pure boomer porn. It’s a loopy fantasy designed to emphasise how great that generation’s musical and artistic achievements were, full of glowing nods to the ’60s.

But, while things start out gallingly bizzare, they only get weirder, culminating in a final twist so egregious it has been prompting walk-outs.

— Warning: Major spoilers for Yesterday follow. — 

At the beginning of the third act, our hero Jack (Himesh Patel), who has been passing off Beatles songs as his own, encounters a group of fans who tell him they too remember the Fab Four. So far, so cheesy. But then, said fans give Jack the address of one Mr. John Lennon.

Obviously, Lennon has not been shot and killed by Mark Chapman in the world of the film, and is instead an old man living by himself, spouting hoary epithets about why it’s important to lead a happy life rather than a successful one. Wilder still, Lennon is played by Robert Carlyle of The Full Monty fame.

Not only is such a pretty on the nose — Lennon’s death was a tragedy, and pretending that it simply never happened makes the filmmakers seem blasé about the man’s memory — it’s also kinda redundant.

If you’re going to have Jack receive stately advice from a Beatle, why not have it be Paul? Or Ringo? Or even George, whose death was of course equally sad, but not tied up in the success of the Beatles.

Needless to say, fans of The Beatles — and, y’know, regular human beings — are pissed.

Indeed, there’s been so much online chatter that the film’s (usually very talented) director Danny Boyle has responded to the furore, claiming that he too was shocked by the twist when he first read the script, but slowly came around to it.

“Somebody’s life was robbed and movies can give him back to us, just for a moment,” Boyle told USA Today. “And I love that about movies.”

Big ‘hm’ on that one, Danny.