What if the Beatles didn’t exist?
What would the world be like without the music of the Beatles? I’ve been looking forward to seeing the new movie that raises this question called Yesterday, since several people told me this past month that it featured reality shifts and the Mandela effect.
Imagining a world without the Beatles might seem impossible, but that’s exactly where Yesterday’s lead character, Jack Malik, goes when he gets hit by a bus while riding his bicycle at the exact moment when a worldwide power failure plunges the streets into pitch-black darkness. This moment presents Jack with an extraordinary opportunity to bring forth ‘brand-new’ songs.
Feel-good romantic comedy
Watching Yesterday was fun from the point of view of a feel-good romantic comedy summer movie. Once I realized that this movie would not be delving into thoughts about the nature of reality, quantum consciousness, or why it seemed that only a few people in the entire world still remembered the most popular music group of all time–it was fun to watch.
I enjoyed the actors and romantic story line, and appreciated the numerous Beatles songs and some of the famous locations inspiring some songs. I especially loved watching Jack Malik, the main character, racking his brains to remember as clearly as possible what all the songs the Beatles ever wrote. Himesh Patel did a great job playing the role of Jack Malik, and Lily James was super as Jack’s first manager and childhood friend, Ellie. Kate McKinnon balanced beautifully on the razor-thin line between comedic and terrifying, as Jack’s Los Angeles business manager.
I was disappointed when the film’s characters showed little to no interest in exploring why the entire world had suddenly completely forgotten about the musical group the Beatles. This kind of reality shift has not (yet!) occurred; typically Mandela effects involve small changes to bits of movie dialogue, passages in books, product names, and dates of death. I’d have loved to see a more realistic portrayal of the Mandela effect and reality shifts, with some groups of individuals remembering some things, and others remembering something else–yet that was outside the scope of this movie.
I found it especially surprising that not only were the Beatles (as a musical group) gone, but so was J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series of books, Coca-Cola, and cigarettes. Even any one of these things being gone is beyond what’s happened to date with the Mandela effect, let alone all four of them–so this movie felt more unrealistic than it needed or probably intended to be. Most Mandela effects and reality shifts to date don’t so much involve world-famous products, music and stories completely vanishing, as small changes happening here and there and everywhere.
This movie was great for all Beatles fans, and a good introduction to the Mandela effect and reality shifts for the general public.